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Archive for March, 2016

I recently received a new trademark solicitation regarding a registered trademark that I own, and an offer to publish it in a private database. The company calls itself “Patent & Trademark Association” or “P.T.M.A.” with an address in New York, NY. See the image of their mailing that I scanned below.

I have never heard of this register. Of course! Because all of these private registers are worthless. No trademark profession I have met uses them (assuming they can even be used.) They are scams. And the cost is $755 for 2 years. I wonder how many people have been duped?

Also note that the address listed on their website appears to be a UPS store in New Jersey.

If you have been taken by this scam, I suggest that you file a complaint with the FTC, write a letter to the USPTO Commissioner, and contact law enforcement.

Beware of such scams. Read the fine print. Contact your attorney. Report scams to the FTC and USPTO.

It continues to astound me that the USPTO, DOJ, FTC, and others refuse to better investigate and halt these blatant scams targeting trademark owners.

PTMA mailer_001

For more information, see:

Recent Client Trademark Registrations LXXXVI

Posted by ipelton on: March 28th, 2016

The following is another update of recent Erik M. Pelton & Associates client trademark registrations obtained from the public records of the USPTO so readers can see real  examples of brands and marks which are being protected – and the wide range of variety in brand names, logos, products and services. [Click trademark or logo to open USPTO records in a new window]

  • Trademark image – Plumbing services; electrical contracting services; general construction contracting services; construction and renovation of buildings; handyman services in the nature of repair and maintenance of residential and commercial buildings; HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance; home energy assessment services for the purpose of determining home improvements needed to improve energy use and efficiency; energy efficiency maintenance and construction services
  • Trademark image– Computer software and mobile software for data processing and analytics in the field of health care and patient care
  • NATURA HEALTH PRODUCTS – Nutritional, dietary, and botanical supplements
  • CERTIFICATION PASS PLEDGE – Educational services, namely, conducting training courses and post-secondary education in the fields of technology, information technology, project management, software and computers
  • PASS PLEDGE – Educational services, namely, conducting training courses and post-secondary education in the fields of technology, information technology, project management, software and computers
  • HAUL OVER – Retail and online retail store services featuring clothing, apparel, recreation equipment, clothing accessories, gift items, luggage, jewelry, key chains, stickers, umbrellas, towels, coasters, backpacks, bags, and signs
  • WE MAKE COMPRESSION COMFORTABLE – Mail order catalog services featuring compression hosiery, athletic braces, hosiery, footwear, back care items, foot care items, and body care items; online retail store services featuring compression hosiery, athletic braces, hosiery, footwear, back care items, foot care items, and body care items
  • FAMILY GUARD – mobile software app that allow individuals to send emergency signals automatically to a central monitoring station to summon medical aid when necessary
  • THE PRODUCTIVITY SHOW – entertainment services, namely, providing podcasts in the field of time management, personal and business productivity, personal technology and self-development
  • MISIA – women’s clothing, namely, tops, pants, shorts, blouses, and dresses
  • THE ART OF FEMININE PRESENCE – conducting conferences, seminars and workshops in the fields of personal and professional development, health and wellness, relationships, empowerment and motivational activities; training in the field of personal and professional development, health and wellness, relationships, empowerment and motivational activities
  • Trademark image– Retail and online retail store services featuring clothing, apparel, recreation equipment, clothing accessories, gift items, luggage, jewelry, keychains, stickers, umbrellas, towels, coasters, backpacks, bags, and signs
  • Trademark image – Distilled spirits
  • AUTHENTIC SPEAKER ACADEMY – providing seminars in the field of speaking; providing online non-downloadable videos in the field of speaking; providing coaching in the field of speaking; providing an educational website featuring non-downloadable videos, articles, and worksheets in the field of speaking; and providing in-person educational forums in the field of speaking
  • PERSONAL LEADERSHIP MASTERY – Providing seminars and on-line seminars in the field of leadership; providing educational on-line teleconferences in the field of leadership; providing non-downloadable videos in the field of leadership; providing coaching services in the field of leadership; providing an educational website featuring non-downloadable videos, articles, and worksheets in the field of leadership; and providing in-person educational forums in the field of leadership
  • ROCK THE HOUSE – Real estate brokerage
  • Trademark image –  Kinetic spring toys; Equipment for dance and movement-based activities in the form of kinetic spring toys
  • COMBINED STATES – Prepaid legal benefit plans

 

I recently came across a wonderful story about an inspiring young entrepreneur.  The creator of BeeSweet Tea is Mikaila Ulmer. She launched the business in 2012 at the age of 7! She made it onto Shark Tank in 2015, while her brand was growing. She received an investment as a result of the show, and her business continues to grow.

Beesweet Lemonade Variety Pack

Her brand is wonderful for several reasons:

  • It tells a story. Not just of a child entrepreneur, but of helping to save bees, which have experienced a large reduction in their colonies in recent years. The website tout’s Ms. Ulmer “A social entrepreneur, bee ambassador, educator and student.”
  • It is a fun, creative name, and playful logo.
  • She filed for trademark protection long before the media spotlight – an application was filed in early 2014 to protect the BEESWEET TEA name.

A child entrepreneur recognizes the value of a great name and proper trademark protection. Sadly, many adult businesses ignore the significance of trademarks.

I can’t wait to follow the journey of this inspiring entrepreneur!

Related articles: How a 10-year-old entrepreneur earned her stripes on ‘Shark Tank’ (UPSTART Business Journal)

How to brainstorm and whiteboard a new brand name

Posted by ipelton on: March 24th, 2016

Bill Simmons, the sportswriter and podcaster, recently launched a new site called The Ringer. In the first newsletter, Simmons discusses how difficult it was to find the right name, especially one that is easy to spell, easy to remember, unique, and available with a corresponding .com domain.

Sean Fennessey liked “Klique,” which sounds like Kanye’s ill-fated answer to Tidal. Chris Ryan pushed for “Klaxon,” which sounds like a new fiber cereal that might blow out your colon. I liked “Watershed,” which sounds like a financial-planning service that might advertise on my podcast. Eventually, I pivoted to “Heat Check,” then “Channel 33,” then “Chase the Night” — which I’ve loved ever since overhearing Worldwide Wes tell a young NBA player to go home instead of a strip joint because “you can’t chase the night.” What does this have to do with a website? I have no freaking idea….

Then, finally, progress! We all liked “The Leap.” www.theleap.com. Done. Finished. Well, right until our trademark lawyers swatted us, Mutombo style. No way. Can’t do it. Leap somewhere else. We found ourselves drifting back to “The Ringer,” partly because we liked it and partly out of pure, unadulterated desperation

See photo below, posted by Simmons on Facebook, showing the whiteboard they used.

Here are the key steps in the “namestorming” process:

  1. BRAINSTORM for names, characteristics, prefixes, suffices. Don’t focus on one possible name but come up with a few different ideas, or pieces of name,  dozens of variations or combinations. Have a message. What are you going to communicate to customers with your trademark?  A brand name can convey one or more of many characteristics, such as: trustworthy, fun, young, simple, conservative, bold, sexy, new, old, funny, fancy, rich, local, or corporate.  Before you focus on potential names, focus on the message you want that name to send.
  2. Narrow the list to several possibilities that you like. If you hone in on one name too early, and that name is not available, you will have a harder time letting go of it and considering alternatives, and you will be losing time.
  3. Consult with trademark attorney to see if names have potential.
  4. Choose one or two favorite names for a thorough trademark search.
  5. Check domain names.
  6. If a favored name is available, settle on it and acquire domain name and file trademark application with the USPTO based on “intent to use” the trademark.

THE RINGER IMG_9639

Related Posts:

Trademark protection for food truck operators

Posted by ipelton on: March 22nd, 2016

Trademark protection is important and valuable for all brands, and for all small businesses. Yet. food trucks have a heightened need to proper trademark protection. Why is it so important?

– The industry and booming and growing rapidly with lots of new brand names being developed every month.

– There have been many instances where food truck operators have used names too similar to those of existing restaurant or other food trucks/carts. See several examples in my slides below.

– Food trucks are generally very local businesses. Therefore, without USPTO registration the food truck brand is only protected in the local geographic area where it operates and not anywhere else in the US. Federal registration provides protection in all 50 states, which is important not only to avoid confusion online and on social media, but for potential expansion, licensing, and/or franchising.

– Social media user names and domain names are particularly valuable in the food truck business since a great deal of customers track the locations online. Trademark protection can help avoid and/or solve domain name trademark issues.

– The cost of rebranding a food truck can be enough to crush a business. Repainting or re-wrapping a truck is not cheap. And the loss of customer loyalty due to a re-branding is a real possibility.

Trademark protection for food trucks by Erik Pelton