The owners of the trademark Thread Bears swore under oath that they had used it AS A MARK for five years. There is ample evidence that they did NOT use it as a mark at all, only descriptively until after they acquired the mark from it's original owner. IF they had been using it AS A MARK before then than they were violating the trademark Thread Bears. If they were not violating the trademark by using the term "thread bear" to describe their work than neither is ANY ONE ELSE who uses that term descriptively. This is MY opinion on the issue and cannot be taken for legal advice.