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Archive for July, 2010

smar(tm)ark trademark newsletter – issue 1.5

Posted by ipelton on: July 29th, 2010

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Newsletter content © 2010 Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.

smarTMark newsletter from Erik M. Pelton & Associates, issue1.5

USPTO trademark news and updates

Posted by ipelton on: July 26th, 2010

Here is a variety of recent USPTO-related news and announcements [It is great to see the USPTO communicating with the public more frequently and in more ways]:

  • The next Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) meeting will be September 2, 2010. The public can participate in person at the USPTO or via a live web feed.  More details are available here: http://www.uspto.gov/about/advisory/tpac/tpac_meetings.jsp
  • The transcript of the last public TPAC meeting, which I blogged about here, has been published online here.
  • The USPTO has issued a recent Request for Comments about improving the accuracy of identifications of goods and services in trademark applications and registrations.  Details here.
    • Note: Once of my favored approaches –  requiring additional specimens of use, not for each and every good or service listed, but for those which are in the same class but are quite different (i.e. computer hardware and computer software, both in Class 9) – is not mentioned.
  • Follow the USPTO on facebook here.
  • Follow USPTO director David Kappos’ blog here.
  • Follow an unofficial-but-quite-good USPTO twitter feed here.
  • Read about the 2010 National Trademark Expo (Oct. 15 & 16, 2010) here and apply to exhibit here.
  • The USPTO “Draft Strategic Plan for FY 2010-2015″ has been published here and the public can comment on it through Aug. 2, 2010.
  • The USPTO launched a video channel, the Trademark Information Network in March featuring introductory videos about the trademark registration process. More videos are expected to be added soon.
  • The trademarks consistency initiative from the USPTO has recently been expanded.  More details here.
  • The USPTO has begun publishing an inventor’s newsletter entitled ‘InventorsEye.’  Subscribe here.
  • The USPTO recently began making bulk data available for free download in partnership with Google.  More info here.
  • The USPTO issued several “warnings” to trademark applicants in June, including:
    • Notice that all application data sent to the USPTO is a public record, including the Applicant’s phone number, email address, and street address.
      • NOTE: for this reason, our firm never submits to the USPTO the trademark applicant’s phone number or email address as they are not required and it is better to ensure that all communication comes through counsel’s office.
    • Notice that important emails about an application may come to applicant and “will always come from an address including “@uspto.gov.” Ensure that emails are NOT treated as spam.  Also, if your emails address changes, you must update the USPTO records with the new address.  You should monitor the status of your application at least every 3-4 months after any filing to avoid missing any critical filing deadlines.”
      • NOTE: because mail and email can get lost or caught in spam filters, our customized computer docketing system monitors all activity from the USPTO, regardless of whether an email or snail mail correspondence is actually received.
See (and comment on it through Aug. 2, 2010)

Register your .CO domains now

Posted by ipelton on: July 23rd, 2010

The .CO domain is now live.  I recommend protecting your major brand and domain names by registering the corresponding .CO domains. Yes, this is highway (internet superhighway) robbery, but it is better than losing traffic or spending money to go after a cybersquatter.  A few dollars spent up front to register them could save you a fortune and a headache later if you must deal with a cybersquatter or lost traffic. My earlier (longer) blog post about the .CO domains name can be found here: Should I register a .co domain name?

I am now the owner of ipelton.co, tm4smallbiz.co, and apptorney.co.

Have you decided to register any .CO domains or are you passing up this opportunity? Let us know in the comments.

CHIPOTLE: Love it or Leave it?

Posted by ipelton on: July 22nd, 2010

A new Chipotle location opened this month around the corner from our offices. I enjoy their food! And I enjoy their trademark name and logo.  The “Chipotle” name is suggestive of a place serving Mexican food.  “Suggestive” means that it does not directly tell you that they serve Mexican, but it gives you a hint.

The simple logo – simple warm colors, simple block lettering, and simple design of a pepper – are pleasant to look at, add to the suggestiveness with the pepper design, and represent the restaurant chain well.  The store architecture and menu also generally fit with the simple style and design.

I also like that the company understands the value of the brand – they own more than 20 trademark registrations, including several logos and slogans:


  • The restaurant’s interior design (” THE APPEARANCE AND DESIGN OF THE INTERIOR OF A RESTAURANT EVOKING A NEO-INDUSTRIAL FEEL THROUGH THE USE OF UNPAINTED GALVANIZED OR STAINLESS STEEL METAL FINISHES ON TABLE AND BAR TOPS, BASEBOARDS, WAINSCOTS, AND TRASH SURROUNDS; LIGHT ? COLORED NATURAL WOOD FINISHES AS ACCENTS ON TABLE AND/OR CHAIR EDGES, BENCH SEATING, WALL FINISHES, AND/OR CHAIRS; THE USE OF INDUSTRIAL-LOOK LIGHT FIXTURES WITH EXPOSED ELECTRICAL JUNCTION BOX FITTING AND PORCELAIN KEYLESS BULB SOCKETS SUSPENDED FROM THE END OF ELECTRICAL CONDUIT PENDANTS; CEILINGS EXPOSED TO THE STRUCTURE WITH EXPOSED VENTILATION CONDUITS AND ELECTRICAL; AND EXPOSED KITCHEN AND GRILL AREA.”)

  • A burrito image (“The mark consists of a rectangular shape with rounded edges that appears to be bursting at the seams and has a surface appearance of crinkled aluminum foil wrap”)

  • THE GOURMET RESTAURANT WHERE YOU EAT WITH YOUR HANDS
  • FOOD WITH INTEGRITY
  • UNBURRITABLE

Lesson: A brand need not be complex to be unique and to communicate with consumers. In my opinion, CHIPOTLE does just that.

Tips for successful negotiations

Posted by ipelton on: July 20th, 2010

Tips for Effective Negotiating:

You can’t always get what you want, But if you try sometimes you might find, You get what you need

- Rolling Stones (1969)

The following stages of negotiation are covered in this presentation I gave last week to an audience at the Software Industry Conference:

  • Preparation
  • Your Adversary / Partner
  • The Opening
  • Getting Results
  • Overcoming Obstacles
  • Reaching the Finish Line

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