The following is a transcript of an episode of the Tricks of the Trade(mark) podcast, listen to the episode here.
I want to share a special case study with you. You see, I believe it’s important to practice what I preach, and I own many trademark registrations for the blog name, newsletter name, my firm’s logo, slogans like Making trademarks blooms since 1999®. And last year when I launched a podcast, I went through the process of what any brand owner would do with a new brand name, so it makes for a wonderful case study because I can share all about it with you.
The first step was to come up with a creative name. I wanted something that was suggestive, that told people it had to do with trademarks or branding, but I didn’t want it to be overtly descriptive, which would make it weak and hard to protect. A name like Trademarks with Erik Pelton or Branding Podcast would be (i) not memorable, and (ii) two, hard to protect. So, I brainstormed for several days to come up with a variety of creative names.
Then I searched to make sure that the name looked like it wasn’t being used for a brand of podcasts or anything related to podcasts. Then once I was confident that I had searched some on my own and the name looked available, I conducted a professional search to search in the USPTO records, domain name records, state records, and really make sure that the investment in this name, you can never be sure that it’s 100% foolproof, but that it looked like it was going to be viable and worth going forward with. The name that I settled on after all of this is Tricks of the Trade(mark). A play on words and a creative name for the podcast.
Now the next steps are before the podcast even launched, before I had released any episodes and created an iTunes store or anything like that, I filed with the us Patent and Trademark Office based on the intent to use the name in connection with podcasts. The reason this is a valuable step is that I was able to start getting protection for that name the day the application was filed, which was before anybody else in the public knew about this name, because it had not been released, it had not been publicized, it had not been downloaded, and it had not been provided to anybody. That is the best way to start protection early with an intent to use application.
Then I began using the name and the application with the Patent and Trademark Office went through the process, and it got approved, and then I submitted to evidence of use, which in this case was I think a screenshot of the iTunes page and of my website promoting the podcast with the name. Submitted that evidence to the Patent and Trademark Office, and the registration process was completed.
Altogether, that process took about eight months from start to finish, from brainstorming the name to filing the application, launching the podcast, completing the registration. That’s about as quick as you can do it. You know, you can maybe get it down to six or seven months if everything goes smoothly and perfectly, but on average a trademark application takes about a year. The important thing is that initial filing date.
I wanted to share this case study with you about my brand, Tricks of the Trade(mark)®, and how I came up with a creative name, how I went about protecting it, and how the whole process works, and hope that you can take that and use it when you’re thinking about new product names, service names, taglines, and go through a similar process.