Wednesday, September 26, 2012

PTA Sues For-Profit Rival

The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) filed a lawsuit against one of its for-profit rivals, accusing it of attempting to steal its members.

According to a report on CBS News, the Chicago-based PTA filed the suit Wednesday in a U.S. District Court in Chicago against PTO Today. The organization claims that PTO engaged in trademark infringement, false advertising, and deceptive trade practices in attempts to siphon its members. Once boasting 12 million members during its prime, the PTA has seen its membership reduce by half that.

In a statement posted on it's website, PTA president Betsy Landers said that School Family Media, PTO Today's parent company, attempted to confuse the public into thinking the company had a relationship with the PTA in order to get advertising for their website and magazine.

"PTA has no issue with any for-profit company that wants to provide products and services to PTA and its members," said Landers in the statement. "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."

The suit also accuses PTO Today and School Family Media of making false statements about the PTA.

PTO Today founder and CEO Tim Sullivan denied the accusations, telling The Associated Press that PTA's membership started to decline before his company was in existence. PTO Today was founded in 1999, and it offers insurance, resource kits, training, and other advice to independent parent-teacher organizations.

You can read the full story on CBS News' website.

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