Originally posted 2010-12-22 08:00:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
First published on March 9, 2010.
I’ve been known to sound the alarm about the rush to register trademarks, and all the more so to register anticipated trademarks. I argue that — oh, forget it, even I’m tired of saying this over and over again. Here’s what I said, one of the times I said it:
For well over nine out of ten new businesses, the odds of your idea sinking or swimming on the strength of a trademark are slim indeed, and slim too is the war chest most entrepreneurs bring to the battle of free enterprise. Prove to yourself and the world that you have a business plan, a product or service that people want, the ability to deliver it and to scale it up, the capitalization to fertilize all that and the smile of Providence on your efforts. If in the process you develop something worth protecting as a trademark, that mark has already been storing up goodwill and secondary meaning and is enforceable as against infringers under state law and Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act. If it would be a good, business-justifiable use of what is still early-stage capital to register your trademark at this point, by all means do it.
So there’s that. On the other hand, what exactly kind of advice is … this?!:
Some lawyers will get all excited and encourage (demand!) that you register your trademark. This involves paying a bunch of money, filing a bunch of forms and earning an ® after your name instead of the ™. While the ® does give you some benefits by the time you get to court, it doesn’t actually increase the value of your trademark. And you can wait. So, when you come up with a great name, just ™ it.
It doesn’t sound so different, does it? Well, it was written by the icon, human trademark Seth Godin™, famous on the Internet for being famous, whose name I hear all the time and seems to be a guru of some sort though I missed class the day when they taught us why. Well, I think Seth Godin™ is pretty much just about right there.