By way of introduction, my name is Tom Britt and I’m the founder and publisher of the Towne Post Network, Inc. My wife Jeanne and I started the business thirteen years ago with the launch of Geist Community Newsletter. What started as a black and white newsletter published out of our third bedroom has evolved into 8 full-color monthly magazines reaching over 120,000 homes in Avon, Broad Ripple, Carmel, Center Grove, Fishers, Geist, Greenwood and Zionsville.
Our expansion happened by licensing our processes, procedures, website addresses, and even the names for other community magazines around the Indianapolis metro area – including the Center Grove Magazine in 2012 and Greenwood Community Magazine in 2014. Through these License Agreements, licensees were able to use our systems and names and operate our licensed magazines. They were responsible for editorial and sales, Towne Post handled the accounting, production, printing and fulfillment for our licensees. Included in their License Agreements was the ability to purchase the franchise rights to their territories for $1 should Towne Post decide to convert to a franchise system.
On May 27, 2016 we registered in the State of Indiana to sell franchises and started the process of converting our licensees into franchisees. In August, for reasons that are being litigated in the Johnson County courts, the Towne Post Network, Inc. terminated our License Agreements with the Center Grove and Greenwood Community Magazine licensees and took them back as corporate-owned franchises. Towne Post continues to publish both magazines on schedule, just as we have since their inception.
Update January 2017
On January 16, 2017, a Johnson County judge entered a preliminary injunction against Chilly Panda and the Veldkamps prohibiting them from engaging in the following activities (click here to view the entire court ruling):
- Chilly Panda and the Veldkamps are enjoined from representing to the public or holding themselves out as the owner of the names Center Grove Community Magazine and Greenwood Community Magazine; and
- Chilly Panda and the Veldkamps are enjoined from using the marks, Center Grove Community Newsletter, Center Grove Community Magazine, Greenwood Community Newsletter, Greenwood Community Magazine, atCenterGrove.com or atGreenwood.com, in any manner, including without limitation deleting all social media accounts that reference the marks; and ceasing to use forms, advertising and promotional material, displays, stationary, websites, domain names, e-mail addresses, URLs, metatags and other identifiers and any other articles or things that display the marks;
- Chilly Panda and the Veldkamps are enjoined from using marks that are the same as or confusingly similar to Towne Post’s trade names including the names The Original Center Grove Community Magazine and The Original Greenwood Community Magazine.
We are grateful for this ruling and look forward to continuing with the publication of the Center Grove and Greenwood Community Magazines, just as we have for the last 5 years.