Todd Bol, the founder of Little Free Library, died in 2018. (Jim Mone/AP)
In early 2019, Tony Bol started Share With Others, a for-profit company that sells wooden boxes with a storage area for books.
In June of 2019 Little Free Library filed for a new trademark for use of the words “Little Free Library” in connection with “wooden boxes with a storage area for books.” The trademark was issued in response to like book boxes being sold by Share With Others and other companies on platforms like Etsy and Amazon.
Juanita Metzger, in front the Little Library in her neighbour’s front yard Kitchner, Ontario
At issue are the words “little library” used to describe those wooden boxes that grace (mostly middle and upper class) neighborhoods across the country.
Tony Bol calls the trademark request “akin to some organization wanting to own all bird houses by applying to have trademark control over ‘wooden boxes with a nesting area for birds.’
Little Free Cookbook Library outside PCC Market – West Seattle
There are more than 90,000 registered Little Free Library book-sharing boxes in 91 countries and countless unregistered examples.
“Spinning Stories” by Johnston Architects winner of Seattle Design Festival award
Previously on Book Patrol: