By in Breaking News

Sue Greenwood Asserts Rights Over Sweeble Name

Bubblews Saga Continues

On January 31st I wrote about Bubblews' upcoming mobile app, which they have decided to call Sweeble. At that time I wrote that there already was a company that bore the name Sweeble. Sue Greenwood's project – the original Sweeble – was a desktop publishing platform that allowed individuals and groups to create their own newsletters and magazines. But in 2013, Greenwood declared that Sweeble was dead.

How Arvind Dixit came to choose Sweeble as the name for his new mobile app is uncertain. We don't know if he was aware of Greenwood's Sweeble and just figured he could co-opt the name since the platform was no longer active, or whether he simply hadn't bothered to check if anyone already owned the name he wanted to use. But on February 2nd, Dixit denied any connection between his mobile app and “any other product or company with similar names.” (Arvind Dixit, comment on “Was Sweeblenews The Inspiration For Bubblews?”)

Sue Greenwood Reacts to Bubblews 'Sweeble App'

By February 3rd, Greenwood had written an open letter about Sweeble, in which she asserts her ownership over the name and trademark. It seems pretty clear from this letter that Dixit and his partner Jason Zuccari have not approached Greenwood about purchasing rights – although she suspects they may have been trying to buy her domain name. (Sue Greenwood, “ The truth about sweeble and bubblews ”)

As part of a discussion about the Sweeble mobile app, I asked Arvind Dixit if he'd been aware that the name he chose for his new mobile app was already in use by someone else. He never replied.

On February 4th, Sue Greenwood sent out a message directed at Bubblews. Her Tweet reads as follows:

@GoBubblews you really need to talk to me about continuing to call it Sweeble”

I'd like to be a fly on the wall, when Bubblews CEO Dixit does get in touch with Sue Greenwood!



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Comments

SoundNFury wrote on February 4, 2015, 11:45 PM

I was reading about this earlier. Sounds like more bad researching and business acumen. I think they chose "Sweeble" because it is very close to "Bubblews" backwards. Sounds like they have a minor problem here lol.

acrogodess914 wrote on February 5, 2015, 12:15 AM

I don't really intend to use their app and have never heard of the original version.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 5, 2015, 12:42 AM

I think you may be right about the Bubblews backwards thing. And yes, definitely a lack of research and an example of poor business acumen.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 5, 2015, 12:43 AM

He sure is arrogant to take the name - especially if he knew it was already in use.

FernandoSHA wrote on February 5, 2015, 1:57 AM

And now the karma is in progress hahaha! Trouble coming up.

CoralLevang wrote on February 5, 2015, 3:00 AM

If there is a patent/copyright/domain name in the UK, does the same law pertain to the US and vice versa? I am wondering the legality where business law is concerned. And the plot thickens.

NorthernLight wrote on February 5, 2015, 4:58 AM

He'll be slashing redemptions to cover his latest debacle. He likes quotes so I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a new one coined for the internet for entrepreneurs who get it hopelessly wrong - 'doing a Dixit'.

BrenndaMarie wrote on February 5, 2015, 5:22 AM

It seem like there is always something going wrong over there any .

HappyLady wrote on February 5, 2015, 6:16 AM

I too have been at a lost to understand why they called it Sweeble. It seemed so obvious there was another person who had the name, and hoped they had sorted it. I am sure they said they looked into it somewhere. What I do not get is that I am sure one of them said they WERE aware of the stuff in an answer to one of my comments. I assumed they looked into it. I have no idea if the name of a company is only trademarked as long as you trade or is a life long thing. Strangely enough this post earned me 15p! It did so as I started to wonder about my Grandfather owning the name "Electron" (no idea if he really did or not as it refers to an atomic particle,( and did a search. Qmee brought up these electrical sites. So I suppose indirectly, Bubblews and Sue Greenwood, Paper Personal and yourself just earned me 15p as I had a look at the electrical sites.

arthurchappell wrote on February 5, 2015, 6:17 AM

the first thing you surely do if you come up with a corporate name or logo is check no one else has it first - as if Bubb hasn't brought enough trouble for itself as it is

HappyLady wrote on February 5, 2015, 6:18 AM

Sweeble is Bubblews backwards? That would make a lot of sense, but surely you still research it? I wish those guys, however sympathetic I am to their youth and however much I am still supportive, would get an older and wiser advisor to help them. If they have anyone now, they should sack them.

Gina145 wrote on February 5, 2015, 6:21 AM

Will the controversy surrounding Bubblews ever end?

Ruby3881 wrote on February 5, 2015, 9:23 AM

The only person who seemed to temper their business decisions was Briggs Powers, who was operations manager. Hes either quit or been fired. Note that they don't seem to be in a hurry to replace him.

wolfgirl569 wrote on February 5, 2015, 9:57 AM

That does not surprise me at all. Just another bad move on his part. He thinks e can do whatever he wishes

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:05 AM

For me, this is more evidence that Dixit and crew have very little business experience or acumen. Having an idea is one thing, but making it work is something entirely different. I don't have business savvy, so if I were to want to go into business I would need to work with consultants and network with people who have the knowledge I lack. Dixit's method of business reminds me of a child who decides to make money selling lemonade, but really doesn't know how to get the juice out of the lemons.

MsBiz wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:05 AM

This saga just gets more and more unreal, yet none of it surprises me anymore. As others have said, the company needs to hire some older, more experienced consultants and senior staff (including a good attorney).

MsBiz wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:13 AM

This sums it all up so perfectly. Until the staff recognizes their limitations as business persons, they're never going to succeed.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:25 AM

From what little I can glean so far, a UK trademark only protects the mark in the UK. That being said, it would seem to be in very poor taste to appropriate the name of an existing company without at least approaching that company to purchase rights.

Bubblews does business on a global scale, so it's not smart to get a bad reputation in any country, Then again, the company already has a bad reputation - and it seems the BBB will soon be documenting that fact. The thing is, now that reputation for making poor business decisions has already tainted their "Sweeble App" before it's even released.

I think if I were a potential investor, I'd steer clear of both Bubblews and Sweeble. Until Arvind either grows up or gets smart enough to leave the business decisions to someone who has a more level head, it's just not worth the risk.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:39 AM

I do like the idea of "doing a Dixit"! I think he's already earned that one, regardless of what happens with Sweeble.

As for slashing redemptions at Bubblews to cover Sweeble gaffes, my gut says Bubblews hasn't yet spent on the mobile app and is hoping to attract investors before it actually does any spending. I also think that Arvind must realize by now just how much legal trouble he is potentially in over his New Year's announcement and his follow-up admission that he was reporting income that never existed. I think he'll want to keep finances for the two companies separate, lest assets for both end up frozen when the law steps in.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:49 AM

You say one of them claimed they had looked into it? They probably asked a lawyer if they had to abide by the UK trademark - and that, probably after the fact. I'd love to learn more, but I doubt we'll ever know the whole truth. Arvind never tells more than he has to.

HappyLady wrote on February 5, 2015, 11:04 AM

Do you know I have never heard that name. I can imagine not everyone was happy when the changes were forced. However, we just do not know who was in charge of looking after the finances. We had a time when they were trying to pay all the missed people so I cannot really say it is a scam. I am not sure if there is not someone other than Arvind and Jason reporting to them that missed the fact the scammers were distorting earnings.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 5, 2015, 11:13 AM

What an apt comparison, Deb! I do think there's a certain amount of arrogance on Arvind's part too, that wouldn't be expected from the lemonade stand kids...

Ruby3881 wrote on February 5, 2015, 11:34 AM

I think they took a gamble and lost. I think they were very much aware of the spammers and plagiarists, and while they were getting away with allowing that content to stay on the site they were happy to leave it be. My best guess is, one of their ad clients noticed and warned them about it. Then they had to scramble.

In removing so many accounts, so fast, they lost a lot of traffic. And that meant huge losses to ad revenue that they hadn't planned for. At the same time, a huge influx of new users (which many of us warned them to stop by imposing a temporary cap) and the unexpected success of a lot of users combined to increase the amount of money they owed in redemptions.

Bubblews had been offering far too much money to users. To pay for likes and comments is uncommon. I guess they figured it would attract more users - and it did! To pay a penny per, for each of those three, was absolutely not sustainable. Even to offer the 50/50 revenue share that they were supposed to be paying was likely unsustainable. I believe they knew it was, but were gambling that the big PR campaign would bring them a lot of investors. So they went on as they were, thinking they'd just pay up what they owed once investments started rolling in.

Of course, that was a foolish plan. They used up all their initial funding and were technically operating at a loss, so they increased the delay for payouts, increased the payment threshold, and eventually just stopped paying some users altogether when they realized those people would keep writing all the same. And now, well, they're stuck. So they just cancelled and slashed payments...

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on February 5, 2015, 12:47 PM

I've always been amazed that Arvind never understood the value of bringing in external traffic from search engines. I'm beginning to think now that none of them know how to use one. Common sense would dictate that the first thing you should do when trying to name a new enterprise is Google the name. I don't know the legalities involved, but who's bright idea was it to try to push a new content site with the name of a former content site that failed?

MarshaMusselman wrote on February 5, 2015, 1:55 PM

If he ever does get in touch with her. They've always been questionable in the cummunication department. It would be to their best interest to follow through on this, but ...

SandraLPetersen wrote on February 5, 2015, 3:20 PM

What's the equivalent as far as business names to a DMCA? A lawsuit? It isn't like you didn't try warning Arvind about the possibility. I bet he disregards the notice by Sue Greenwood and gets into even more of a mess than not doing the research first and coming up with something that hasn't already been used.

LeaPea2417 wrote on February 5, 2015, 4:23 PM

Oh my goodness gracious, here we go again! I bet he takes money from the bubblew's writers to pay for his legal fees, when she takes him to court!

celticeagle wrote on February 5, 2015, 9:02 PM

Arvind and his pal sure seem to just knock themselves out doing the worst possible thing they can for themselves and their business. It is amazing to see.

CoralLevang wrote on February 6, 2015, 10:44 AM

ruby3881 As you know, we are in agreement about this, Kyla. What they do not realize is that the people who truly "stuck with them" and believed in their vision, were many of we oldsters who value innovation and are kinder when it comes to making mistakes and giving chances. What they do not realize is that most of us in that group "knew"/had a hunch what was going on, but understand that small business takes time. So, yes, they realized they could use/dupe/lie to those who were their supporters. Many of them who were not the older folks were the writers from countries that they wanted to help "give opportunities" that they would not otherwise have. So, they (in my opinion) were very strategic in how they were going to work their own agenda. I do not fault them for having a plan. I fault them for their lack of integrity, honesty, and for knowing damned well what their bad intentions were. It reminds me of the duo in "The Sting." Redford and Newman.... excellent examples of grifters...who brought others on board to do the same.... thus, the perfect group to do their bidding for them, as has been done by Bear, Etc.

And I digress...

WordChazer wrote on February 6, 2015, 4:52 PM

Thanks for reminding me that my third strand of action this weekend around writing and eBay is to address the question of my posts on that site.

Last Edited: February 6, 2015, 5:06 PM

WordChazer wrote on February 6, 2015, 4:57 PM

Dixit in Latin is 'he said'... hmmm. He said it, so be it? I never intended to get the mobile app anyway, as my poor phone is overloaded enough as it is.

CoralLevang wrote on February 6, 2015, 6:27 PM

ruby3881 Very true re: poor taste and business decisions.
As far as the BBB, I have noticed that the two complaints against them about payment were resolved, so that they they do not show up anymore. Unfortunately, all the people who complain on the site are unwilling to do so with the BBB or even RipOffReport.com

I cannot, in good conscience, file anything against them at either site, as I have not been wronged in the same way that others. I think that maybe the fact I am so vocal about things and not running off at the mouth in a vicious way, may have something to do with things that they haven't screwed with me or replied. The pen is mightier, when done properly. If others were to post their complaints on RipOff, I would certainly chime in, as I do in the commentaries.

As far as Arvind growing up or getting smart enough...I wouldn't bet on that one in the near future either. Not when he is so intent on surrounding himself with others like Barrett or Tyler, et. al., whose writing has shown exclusion of certain individual groups and people, and a sense of immaturity in how they respond to those whose views are not theirs. I must say, however, that listening to them and watching their behaviors reminds me why I am glad I had only one child and that it was a girl.

CoralLevang wrote on February 6, 2015, 6:29 PM

"...when the law steps in."
Oh, how I hope that there is some accountability standard set for them all.

CoralLevang wrote on February 6, 2015, 6:37 PM

Arvind does not know what truth is as he is too busy trying to avoid and get his other folks to do the speaking for him so he can try to wax eloquently. I have to laugh each time I have read his comments when he uses the word "verbose." It's clear to me he has no understanding of the definition, especially when he said once to me that I was "too wordy" and people won't read what I have to write. Yet, he wants people to continue to be "verbose" (not stop writing). LOL I wonder if he "conversates" with people "irregardless" of (fill-in-the-blank).
Okay...now I am being as sophomoric and snarky as I have accused a particular demographic of being. That is unfair and certainly not nice. ;)

CoralLevang wrote on February 6, 2015, 6:42 PM

Love the comparison.

That being said, however, there are many people who do not understand that when one makes money, there is a responsibility to pay taxes, etc. All business knowledge. Yet we have so many people who feel entitled to making money under the table and think that it is "free" from any law.

Every bit of money I have made from writing and been paid through Paypal, I claim at the end of the year and figure it in as income. Not that I feel any better than others, but I was raised not to try to screw others over, including the government. Those were the code of ethics I was taught.

CoralLevang wrote on February 6, 2015, 6:46 PM

For nearly two years, I have made these suggestions, as many others have as well. Bear (Barrett) has said some things that I have read about appealing to the youth and that the older folks should just leave if they don't like it (implied). Yet, it was truly the older folks (I'm not sure what that means there/to him, but I'm guessing older than 40, but especially the 55+) that kept them around these two years. Oh, of course, the "spammers and plagiarizers" too.

It is sad in so many ways. Definitely unreal. And almost comedic, at this point.

CoralLevang wrote on February 6, 2015, 6:49 PM

"...tak(ing) money from the bubblew's writers to pay for his legal fees..."
This would assume that we have the money. At the lack of pay most are reporting, I would venture to say that something from nothing is still nothing. But I don't know anything about the "new math" of today. emoticon :winking:

Nar2Reviews wrote on February 6, 2015, 8:01 PM

Haha, that does not surprise me in the least. Arwind should be checking out his info before he puts in a name.

chatombreux wrote on February 7, 2015, 7:14 AM

Wow - they already got themselves in deep doodoo as it is by paying out on anticipated revenues instead of actual monies received. They sure don't need a lawsuit on top of it!!!

Willow wrote on February 7, 2015, 10:10 AM

To me, this seems like a good reason NOT to sign up for it just yet! I'm glad I haven't requested an invite.

FreyaYuki wrote on February 7, 2015, 10:47 AM

Also curious and wondering what will happen about this. I have to wonder if Bubblews knew about the existence of Sweeble and why they chose that name for their app. If they didn't, then how could they not know because a quick search on Google for the term "sweeble" brings back numerous articles about sweeble dated years back?

nbaquero wrote on February 9, 2015, 5:30 PM

FreyaYuki Another example of their lack of knowledge and business acumen.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 10, 2015, 7:31 PM

The BBB has pulled down all of its Bubblews info, including their rating. The notice says they are updating. I suspect that's based on the large volume of complaints received since 2015 began, and the fact that Bubblews has been using a lot of stall tactics in responding to them. Now that people are claiming their accounts are being deleted as soon as they complain, I would think BBB will be looking into that. I imagine their rating will change significantly, at the very least.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 10, 2015, 7:33 PM

It is, indeed! I think perhaps Arvind takes that a little much to heart. Unfortunately he is a poor communicator, for all the talking he does.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 10, 2015, 7:39 PM

I am hoping the Attorney General forces some accountability. I believe the AG can level criminal charges for internet fraud. Other than that, I'm not sure what else can be done. But I think the important thing is to tie Arvind's name to all wrongdoing that can be documented, and to publicize the findings of their investigations, such that he can't dupe anyone else.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 10, 2015, 7:41 PM

Al I will say to this is that I've enjoyed reading your content a great deal more than anything Arvind ever wrote!

Ruby3881 wrote on February 10, 2015, 8:14 PM

Yes, I declare my writing earnings on my tax return as well. I'm sure a lot don't, though.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 10, 2015, 8:19 PM

What are the chances that Bubblews would dream up a name, and that the name would just happen to belong to a user-generated content site very much like its own? If Arvind truly was unaware of the original Sweeble, the "coincidence" is providential!

Ruby3881 wrote on February 10, 2015, 8:28 PM

I suspect something happened there, as she seems to have withdrawn her Tweet....

Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 11, 2015, 10:37 AM

Looks like Arvind has his head up his arse yet again !

Ruby3881 wrote on February 11, 2015, 10:52 AM

To be honest, I think if they end up in court it will be over breach of promise or fraud, relating to the non-payment of redemptions owed.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 11, 2015, 11:02 AM

It's been suggested that "Sweeble" was a variant on the name "Bubblews" spelled backwards. I suspect they were playing with the possibilities and did a Google search, then just assumed the name was up for grabs because it was a UK company with no current business.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on February 11, 2015, 11:38 AM

They never cease to amaze me. What will they think of next? (Please don't answer that!)

celticeagle wrote on February 11, 2015, 7:54 PM

It will probably come out in the end that they are members of ISIS or something. Just kidding. Was talking to my daughter about this group and thought of this response. Ugh! Scary stuff.

UK_Writer wrote on February 12, 2015, 6:55 PM

You'd think Arvind would have learnt by now to check out the rules in the 101 Manual about starting any company ... he seems [a] clueless about business [b] so arrogant he's clearly not thinking to ask other people's advice. Checking if a name already exists is something any 10 year old would do before setting up a lemonade stand!
Eejit.

PeterChase wrote on February 16, 2015, 7:01 PM

Holy smokes, Arvind is dumber than he looks. Even if the name is only registered in the UK, Sue could block any usage in the UK and sue his butt off. It is possible that he will pay her to use the trademark to stay out of hot water. Many people warned him about the name including me and he did not answer any of our comments that I know of. When I am composing a title for an article or book I always plug it into Google and make sure it is original. If not I make some changes. I am about to publish an e-book and changed the title because there were some articles with almost the same title as my original idea. This is common sense for any writer or anyone publishing on the net. If Arvind knew about the name before the announcement he should have know that the members would notice this and he would have mentioned it in his post, but he didn't. This shows that he either didn't know or thinks his members are so stupid that they would not notice.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 16, 2015, 8:24 PM

You'd think he'd at least have secured rights to the name before registering his domain and announcing the product. The fact that he used a slightly different domain suggests he was aware of Greenwood's Sweeble. And I'm inclined to think he simply tried to buy the domain without any explanation, rather than to approach her in a professional manner. I think he figured he'd just use a workaround - which suggests he'd already committed to the name before he went to register the domain.

As usual, another example of Arvind's inability to plan ahead and carry out everyday professional activities like paying monies that he's promised...

PeterChase wrote on February 18, 2015, 2:13 PM

That doesn't surprise me in the least. His past record is checkered. Some people are so arrogant that no matter what they do they end up making a mess of whatever they do because they won't listen to anyone that knows more than them. He reminds me if George Bush: the members of his staff that said it was a bad idea to go into Iraq all got fired!

Shellyann36 wrote on February 24, 2015, 9:18 AM

Sounds like more hot water for the Bubblews crew. I doubt very seriously if he will reply to her.... he never replies to anyone else. It is amazing how long people can scheme and get away with stuff on the internet. I wonder with all the complaints that Bubblews has against it for non-payment will get the AG's attention?

Coffee wrote on February 24, 2015, 9:44 AM

Ha, I wonder who will win this argument and get to use the name.

lookatdesktop wrote on June 2, 2016, 3:49 PM

Keep me posted on updates. I know this is over a year since your post but I read it just now.