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National PTA Files Lawsuit Against PTO Today Parent Company

Media Contact:
James Martinez
Sr. Manager of Media & Public Relations
571-329-9352
jmartinez@pta.org

Lawsuit Cites Trademark Infringement and False Advertising by School Family Media

CHICAGO, IL. (September 26, 2012) – The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA®) today filed suit in Illinois against School Family Media Inc., the for-profit parent company of PTO Today, for trademark infringement, false advertising, deceptive trade practices, and other claims.

The National PTA Board of Directors voted to file suit after exhausting multiple attempts to get School Family Media to voluntarily discontinue its inaccurate statements about PTA, as well as its misleading statements suggesting the company had access to, and a relationship with PTA that does not exist. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois located in Chicago.

National PTA alleges that School Family Media attempts to confuse or mislead the public into believing they have a relationship with PTA in order to get advertising on their website and magazine. The suit also claims School Family Media makes false statements about PTA to encourage parent groups to leave PTA and purchase services from School Family Media as an alternative.

“PTA has no issue with any for-profit company that wants to provide products and services to PTA and its members. However, we do strenuously object to School Family Media inferring it has a relationship with PTA that does not exist and, at the same time, disparaging PTA to drive business their way,” said Betsy Landers, National PTA President.

PTA has sought to resolve the situation without litigation many times but School Family Media failed to amend its practices or comply with the measures it agreed to, according to the suit.

“PTA had no choice but to take legal action to protect its respected name and reputation. PTA is an American icon, a charity that has worked to improve the education and well-being of children for more than 116 years.” said Landers.

 

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers,administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

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