Things I’m Learning About…

…Trademarks.

Copyright is a very respectable bronze… but dots and lines are, after all, just dots and lines. Trademarks are silver… but silver can tarnish easily, and is easily confused with base metals and alloys. Registration is gold. It’s where your legal rights kick in.

If it’s more than a piece of writing, more than a cool title on your business card, and involves your livelihood… register it. It takes time and money. So get on it.

Do your homework. This stuff does take time and costs bucks. Someone registering an idea just ahead of you could wind up costing you both a lot of money that could have been saved with a brief name change. It’s not that hard.

Two days ago, my sister and I dreamed up an entire product line. Yesterday, I figured out that all but one name and one auxilliary name culled straight from the initial pitch were unusable. Today, we dreamed up even better names for them, and all check out. This is not brain surgery, gang.

There are searchable federal gov’t website databases for all trademarked/patented/registered/copyrighted material.

It does NOT cost money to access these facilities. Don’t be fooled. If you can use Google, you can use these websites. It’s already paid for. There is a thing call taxation without representation, but happily, not in this case.

Trademarks are the names by which you define your trade. They should be words that define what you do and yet distinguish your work from that of others. There are several criterion considered when officials decide to approve your trademark/registration. But the most imporatnat thing to remember is to define what you do as well as what your name is. ‘A Trademark is not a noun or a verb, but an adjective.

And if you can’t be the least bit original, don’t expect much help. You’re either the lead sled dog, or looking up some other dog’s ass.

L o L,
with two more little logos to invent and one big one to correct, since the original name is trademarked in California, but an easy modification gets us back on track.

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