It’s Friday, I’m in Love!

Snake Oil

This deserves a post of its own.

Where does the term snake oil come from?

Chinese labourers on railroad gangs involved in building the First Transcontinental Railroad first gave snake oil to Europeans with joint pain.[1] When rubbed on the skin at the painful site, snake oil was claimed to bring relief. This claim was ridiculed by rival medicine salesmen, and in time, snake oil became a generic name for many compounds marketed as panaceas or miraculous remedies whose ingredients were usually secret, unidentified, or mis-characterized and mostly inert or ineffective.

Patent medicines originated in England, where a patent was granted to Richard Stoughton‘s Elixir in 1712.[2] Since there was no federal regulation in the USA concerning safety and effectiveness of drugs until the 1906 Food and Drugs Act[3]and various medicine salesmen or manufacturers seldom had enough skills in analytical chemistry to analyze the contents of snake oil, it became the archetype of hoax.

The snake oil peddler became a stock character in Western movies: a travelling “doctor” with dubious credentials, selling fake medicines with boisterous marketing hype, often supported by pseudo-scientific evidence. To increase sales, an accomplice in the crowd (ashill) would often attest to the value of the product in an effort to provoke buying enthusiasm. The “doctor” would leave town before his customers realized they had been cheated.[1] This practice is also called grifting and its practitioners are called grifters.

As you can see, it’s a very common and OLD phrase and yet someone at the trademark office apparently thought to award it to BPAL to use.  So now, BPAL is apparently abusing this TM and they’re going after another small formulator.  Not because she’s duping their scent.  Because she has a product with the same name as one of their one million (crappy) scents.  Say what?

Needless to say, they’ve successfully made my Black List for being a bully!  You can read another opinion on it here.

Indie Style

I think the first mailing of the Awesome Box was a success!  Still, I know there are a lot of people who haven’t heard of it or indies that might want to participate.

Please, contact me via the Indie Style site, Facebook, Twitter, or email!

Upcoming Posts

The Black List

Don’t forget to submit y our entries to my Black List.  There will be two parts, my personal list as well as a list of companies complied by readers.

So far, there have been some eye-opening submission!

The Links

Don’t forget The Morbid the Merrier has it’s own site now!

BRB, doing this to all my shoes.

Oh, dear God.

Green with envy.

I almost bought these.

So Springy!  I’m already looking forward to it.

Your Turn

Have a Merry Christmas if you celebrate, if not, have a wonderful weekend!

12 Responses to “It’s Friday, I’m in Love!”

  1. I added TMTM to my favorites and now I must convince the hubby that I will not live without Petrol Docs!

  2. I was rather curious about whether BPAL actually had a trademark on “snake oil” and what do you know, they do! I find it ridiculous though the efforts they’re going through to prevent the infringement

    Thank you for the link back 😀

  3. The product made by the smaller company deserves the moniker “Snake Oil” much more than the BPAL scent. It’s just a better, more clever use of the term, given it’s history. Still can’t believe they were even allowed to trademark such a common expression.

  4. Please tell me that shimmery powder that’s second to the bottom is a face powder.

  5. I wouldn’t worry too much about the BPAL. That trademark isn’t going to hold up in court, especially if the other seller has been using it longer. As long as she’s got the dates in writing, she should be fine. Stressed, but eventually victorious.

  6. I’m hoping I can get in on the next Awesome Box. I totally missed the mini one. D=

    BPAL… Giant jerkface. I seriously can’t believe what they’re doing over what? Butthurt. That’s it. -.- All they done is insured that I’ll never shop with them. Not even from a second hand source.

    I also want some docs. =[ I miss my old ones. Maybe this year I can save up and get a pair.

  7. Oh, I have wanted to buy some borosanas and be-glitter them for years!

    And I have a dupe for Chanel’s June even before it came out 😀 (one of Golden Rose Classics, and it spreads like a dream!).

    • Why would anyone give the TM for such a word to anyone?

      While we’re at the subject of copyright, have they got the copyrights for all the images on their for-profit site?

  8. I have a bow topped red sequined pair of ballet flats I picked up at Wal Mart for $5 a couple of years ago that are still the pair of shoes I get the most comments on when I wear them. I like to wear them with my wizard of oz babydoll.

    But I also have these in gold and NEED them in red. and maybe every other color they come in:

  9. Well, I’m sure disappointed in BPAL. I have oils that I absolutely love from them and have tried oils that smell like they should be for home fragrance rather than personal. To see them act like this……….