Eric Perrott, Trademark Attorney at Gerben Law Firm, PLLC
“Don’t fall in love with a trademark before you know that you can protect it.”
Relationship between Marketing and the Legal Department:
The marketing department and the legal department I think, the point where they intersect is creating a protectable property interest as opposed to just a marketing idea.
Trademark Attorney – can help turn a marketing idea into a trademark. That means, something completely different than just the idea itself because you can’t protect an idea unless it’s a patent but you can protect the trademark — indefinitely.
What marketers should do:
- Knock-out search using www.uspto.gov.
- Check domain names.
- Search google to see how people are using the phrase you’re using now.
Spectrum of Distinctiveness:
- Arbitrary or fanciful
Guide for small business marketers:
- From a legal standpoint, you don’t trademark something because that is the actual property itself not the act of protecting it. Because there’s so much goes into actually protecting it and making it into a functioning trademark.
Questions to ask would be:
- Can I use this in commerce and will it get me sued?
- Can I protect it nationally?
Additional tips regarding Trademark Registration:
- Just using it initially and registering it is not enough. That once it’s registered, once you have these nationwide rights, it is an ongoing process of making sure that it’s being used and it hasn’t been abandoned. Something to keep in mind, that it’s a living thing that you always have to be on top of.