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Tuesday Trademark Tip: Register domain names first

Posted by ipelton on: January 27th, 2015

Before launching a new brand name or company name, register the relevant domain names. Consider a few different extensions, not just the .com. And consider some different spellings if applicable. Once you make a name public, or file a USPTO trademark application, the world knows about it. And there are plenty of nefarious people who try to register domain names that correspond with brand names and company names so they can offer them for sale, or worse. (While there may be legal action available against a cybersquatter, such a proceeding could be even more expensive than buying the domain name from the party that bought it.)

Save money – and protect your brand – by registering domain names first.

To sign up for more a weekly Tuesday Trademark Tip delivered directly to your inbox (in a brief weekly email format), sign up at www.TuesdayTrademarkTip.com

FireShot Pro Screen Capture #057 - 'Home Page' - tuesdaytrademarktip_com

Seven quick tips for protecting your brand

Posted by ipelton on: November 21st, 2014

One of the first blog posts I wrote was on this subject. It is basic and brief – but very important!

  1. Choose Wisely – The more creative your brand name is, the greater the odds that it is unique.  More distinctive and create name or slogan is generally more capable of standing out among the competition and becoming a brand with real value. Which sounds like a more exciting brand, a more valuable brand: “Jim’s Gym” or “Vantage Fitness“? “Cincinnati Frozen Yogurt” or “fraîche”? “Joe’s Pizza” or “Pie-tanza” “Search.com” or “Google”?
  2. Use it – The more prominently you use your trademarks – brand names, logos and slogans – the stronger and more distinctive they become and the more your likely customers are to remember your brand and to use it to tell others about it.
  3. Distinguish It – Use ALL CAPS, bold or italics to emphasize your brand as often as you can.  Then the customer knows exactly what your brand is.
  4. Register it – Registration provide enhanced legal and practical protection and increases the dollar value of your trademark assets.
  5. Create Google Alerts – An easy and free way to monitor for others copying your brand or commenting on it.  If you find a possible infringement, contact an attorney. www.google.com/alerts
  6. Enforce it – When your trademark is violated, take action quickly. If you don’t care enough about your brand to fight for it, why should the customers care? Taking quick action generally leads to quicker, better, cheaper resolution of the problem.
  7. Think outside the trademark box – Are there sounds, shapes, colors, patterns, uniforms, or other ‘nontraditional’ trademarks being used to help make your brand stand apart?  If so, highlight and protect them.

© 2014 Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC.

Interesting play-on-word trademarks: _____ Happens

Posted by ipelton on: October 5th, 2013

Here are some great variations on the phrase”Sh__ Happens” filed as trademarks with the USPTO:

[click mark for USPTO records]

  • STITT HAPPENS – pending application for clothing filed by Robert Stitt. According to Wikipedia, “Robert “Bob” Allen Stitt is the head football coach for the Colorado School of Mines. He is nationally known as the innovator of the Fly-Sweep play and his unique offensive mind.”
  • IT HAPPENS – pending application for “Plastic and paper bags for disposing of pet waste”
  • SIT HAPPENS – pending application for “wheelchair cushions, wheelchair pads, headrests for use with wheelchairs, amputee support devices for use with wheelchairs, lap trays for use with wheelchairs, backrests for use with wheelchairs, lateral supports for use with wheelchairs, hardware for use in attaching accessories to wheelchairs”
  • lit-happens – registered for “Legal consulting services in the field of litigations and legal trials”
  • SHIFT HAPPENS – registered for “Dental services, namely, orthodontic services”
  • split happens – registered for “Shampoos, conditioners, non-medicated hair serums, hair care preparations, styling gels, hair styling mousses and hair styling preparations”
  • FIT HAPPENS – registered for ‘Providing recreational facilities and health club facilities, namely weight and aerobic training, cardiovascular fitness training, yoga and martial arts training”
  • SPIT HAPPENS – registered for “baby bibs”

Tip: Using puns and plays on words are great ways to create catchy, memorable brands!

 

How a great slogan works: “Your Nine Inning Vacation”

Posted by ipelton on: October 1st, 2013

Over the summer, I found this terrific slogan at a minor league baseball game:

"Your Nine Inning Vacation"

“Your Nine Inning Vacation”

Why it works:

  • It is short and simple.
  • It creates a visual in my mind: sitting at a baseball game and enjoying it.
  • In a few short words, it communicates a message: come here for a ball game it is like a miniature vacation — away from work and all the other stresses in your life.
  • It is connected to primary services offered: minor league baseball.

The only drawback is that the Portland Sea Dogs have not filed to register the slogan yet!

Great pun trademarks

Posted by ipelton on: April 24th, 2013

Puns make great playful suggestive trademarks.

A recent piece on MSN Now features photos of some great such names. For example:

– MERCHANT OF TENNIS

– BACK TO THE FUTON

– BREWED AWAKENING (coffee shop)

– CURL UP A DYE (hair salon)

– PLANET OF THE GRAPES (wine shop)  

– SPEX IN THE CITY (glasses?)

– TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD

– WOK THIS WAY

– THE LEANING TOWER OF PIZZA

And how about the Vietnamse noodle shop, PHO SHO! In fact there are a lot of great PHO puns, including 9021PHO:

90210PHO photo from https://www.facebook.com/9021PHO