Register unto dummies:
Just in case you get the urge to start up a company, develop a new product, write
something with intent to publish, or even name your band, taking a quick moment to
do a trademark search on the US Government's Patent and Trademark office site
[ http://www.uspto.gov/web/menu/search.html ]
is a Good Thing
Not only can you double=check to make sure that nobody has already trademarked the
business/product/band name you were thinking of using, you also have the opportunity to
be flabbergasted by the things people actually have gone to the trouble of trademarking.
Registering a trademark, while generally faster and cheaper than getting a patent, is a
lot more complex, expensive, and time-consuming than registering a copyright. But, despite
these hurdles, a quick search reveals that people have gone to the trouble of registering
101 trademarks that include the word "stupid," 215 variations on "beanie," 229 "dummies,"
and 4149 "Internet."
| if, for example,
you wanted to name your new delivery system for aerosol non-dairy
cheese substitute "Scum Tongue," you'd be okay |
But one particular trademark that jumped out at me in a search I was doing is registered
to Theodore J. Simendinger of Greenwood Village, Colorado, who has gone to the trouble
of registering the following trademark, just to make sure that nobody else tries to use it
as a name or label on a competing product:
THE IMPACT PLAYER. BECOME AN IMPACT PLAYER. BECOME AN IMPACT PLAYER TODAY!
THE HAPPY ART OF BUSINESS & LIFE ACHIEVEMENT. AMERICA'S FUNNIEST BUSINESSMAN
FOOTPRINTS OR BUTTPRINTS? FIND YOUR GREENEST PASTURE. STREAMLINE SUCCESS.
MAKE A COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE. BUILD EQUITY IN YOURSELF. EARN THE RIGHT.
EARN THE RIGHT TO SUCCEED. EARN THE RIGHT TO FAIL. THRIVERS, SURVIVORS &
CHEVROLET DRIVERS. WE ALL TAKE TURNS IN THE BARREL. THE WORRY CIRCLE.
MANAGING THE WORRY CIRCLE. YOUR DAILY DOZEN. CREATE YOUR DAILY DOZEN.
CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK, CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOR, CHANGE YOUR LIFE. CHANGE
THE WAY YOU THINK, CHANGE YOUR LIFE. FIND YOUR GREENEST PASTURE. FIX YOUR LIFE.
FIX YOUR LIFE IN LESS THAN AN HOUR. WIN THE ONES YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO WIN AND SOME
OF THE ONES YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO LOSE. ARTFUL SIMPLICITY. BRILLIANT SIMPLICITY.
THE ARTFUL SIMPLICITY OF THE COMPLEX. ACCESSIBLE LIFE LESSONS. LAUGH YOUR
WAY TO A RICHER, HAPPIER AND MORE SUCCESSFUL WAY OF LIFE. MY FRIENDS &
CO-CONSPIRATORS. SHINE YOUR MIRROR. BE BETTER, NOT PERFECT. NEVER LOOK IN THE
REARVIEW MIRROR. LIFE'S WHAT YOU DO BETWEEN SHAVES. LIFE'S WHAT HAPPENS
BETWEEN SHAVES. SHARE THE LAUGHTER. YOUR WORK IS YOUR AUTOGRAPH -- SIGN
WITH A FLOURISH! WORK IS 24% OF YOUR LIFE -- TREAT IT THAT WAY. ONE NEW THING
I CAN DO INSTANTLY TO CHANGE MY LIFE AND WORK. TEDSEZ. EARN THE RIGHT.
EARN THE RIGHT TO SUCCEED. AND EARN THE RIGHT TO FAIL. SEE THE END AND
WORK BACKWARD. NO STINKIN' THINKIN'! DO MORE & WANT LESS. ROLE MODELS -- FOLLOW
ONE, BECOME ONE. IT'S OK TO BE A WILD DUCK. BUSINESS & TALENT DEVELOPMENT.
THE EFFECTIVE USE OF HUMOR IN BUSINESS. HUMOR & LAUGHTER WORKS IN BUSINESS.
WHAT YOU SAY AND HOW YOU SAY IT -- WORD ENGINEERING. THE POWER OF
PERSONALITY TYPES. HAPPINESS, CONTENTMENT AND INNER PEACE ARE FAR
STRONGER AND MORE POWERFUL THAN FRUSTRATION AND ANGER. WHAT IS
YOUR LIFE A UNIQUE LABORATORY FOR? WHAT HAS YOUR LIFE BEEN A UNIQUELY
POWERFUL LABORATORY FOR? KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, LOOK FOR WHAT YOU WANT,
AND FIND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR -- IT'S OUT THERE. DON'T GET PICKED OFF SECOND.
NEVER LET A COMPETITOR SURPRISE YOU.
But do keep in mind, however, that trademarks are necessarily industry-specific. So, for
example, the (now expired) trademark "SCUM TONGUE"
was only registered for "Goods and Services: Tongue scrapper implement for oral hygiene,"
so if, for example, you wanted to name your new delivery system for aerosol non-dairy
cheese substitute "Scum Tongue," you'd be okay.
Legally, anyway. Mentally may be another matter entirely, and we just won't go
into that now.
BTW, I don't know what a "tongue scrapper" is either, but that's what's written
on the form. (Eeerily, the trademark owner is also in the Denver Metro area; what's
going on here?)
The same would apply to Theodore's particularly pleonastic mark above, which just
only applies to products and services related to self-help and inspirational seminars
and coaching (was there ever any doubt?)--so if you wanted to use that on the
packaging of your new aerosol non-dairy cheese substitute, you might just be able
to get away with it, at least as long as you didn't go around trying to inspire people
Personally, I don't think anyone would want to use that on their packaging,
except maybe Doctor Bonner. So, you might want to double-check the natural
food store shelves first before going through all the trouble of typesetting and