See infringement? Say something


Just about anyone who has taken the bus or subway in the last 10 years should be familiar with the “if you see something, say something” campaign the Metropolitan Transportation Authority uses to keep riders on the lookout for suspicious activity.

But did you know the MTA actually owns the phrase?

The clerks of both Erie and Niagara counties found that out Tuesday after receiving a cease and desist letter from the transportation authority telling them to stop using the phrase.

Mark Heavey, director of marketing and advertising for the MTA, sent letters Dec. 10 to Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns in Buffalo and Niagara County Clerk Joseph Jastrzemski in Lockport, demanding they stop using the phrase.

The two clerks, according to Heavey, used “if you see something, say something” as part of its efforts to encourage people to call U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement for anyone they think could be an undocumented immigrant applying for a state driver’s license when the Green Light Law goes into effect this weekend.

Neither clerk got permission to use the phrase, which MTA trademarked at the federal level, according to Heavey. But even if they had asked permission to use it, Heavey said he would deny them.

“MTA registered this trademark in 2010 specifically to limit its use to communicating messages about counter-terrorism messages,” Heavey wrote in his letter to the clerks. “Your unauthorized use of the mark is in support of encouraging people to report suspected undocumented immigrants. This is both abhorrent, and unrelated to counter-terrorism.”

Heavey gave both Kearns and Jastrzemski until 5 p.m., on Tuesday to acknowledge the letter and comply with the cease and desist.


A chance to join Community Board 8

It’s that time of year to apply for the community board, and Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., says he’s accepting applications for all of the Bronx’s boards, including Community Board 8.

Applications are available on the borough president’s website at, or by calling (718) 590-3913. Applications are also available at local community board offices, including at CB8, located at 5676 Riverdale Ave., Suite 100.

Applicants should be at least 16 years old.