If you’re not
The rest is history. Seth revealed himself a fan of the blog on our 4th birthday, what a surprise. He generously has engaged with us since then, weighing in on topics ranging from branding to trademark bullying to Velcro’s fear of trademark genericide, with so much more in between.
Recently, Seth generously agreed to answer the 12 questions below. What should we ask next?
Seth’s fabulous and penetrating new book called This is Marketing, will be released tomorrow, no doubt another best-seller,…
Welcome to another edition of trademark stories that are inspired by billboard advertisements:
This one was captured for obvious reasons, if you’re familiar with our interest in brandverbing:
- Just Verb It? A Legal Perspective on Using Brands As Verbs: Part I
- Just Verb It? Part II: A Legal Perspective on Using Brands as
Yes and no are at opposite ends of the spectrum. North Pole, South Pole. Night and day. Win, loss. Black, white. Available, unavailable. Protectable, unprotectable. Infringing, non-infringing. They represent a binary proposition, like a traditional light switch with two settings: on and off.
My daughter loves the yes end of the spectrum; no, not…
Uber, the popular brand that helps people arrange prompt ground transportation, is now also being called a verb. The Star Tribune recently reported that the founder of iHail, a recent competitor of Uber in the Twin Cities market, would like to achieve the same anointed status: “I want iHail to become a verb,…
More than a few trademark types cringe when their clients or others say things like “let’s trademark it,” “they didn’t trademark their logo,” or “we don’t want to trademark this name,” and, when they ask questions like “is it trademarked?” or “is that trademarked software?” or “did we ever trademark our logo?” or “should we be trademarking this packaging?”
Perhaps any cringing may result from the fact that the Lanham Act — the federal trademark statute — defines the word “trademark” as a noun, not a verb or adjective:
The term “trademark” includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof —
(1) used by a person, or
(2) which a person has a bona fide intention to use in commerce and applies to register on the principal register established by this chapter,
to identify and distinguish his or her goods, including a unique product, from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods, even if that source is unknown.
Turns out though, the words “trademark,” “trademarked,” and “trademarking,” are recognized words with established verb meanings that have formed part of the English language: “(1) To label (a product) with proprietary identification; and (2) to register (something) as a trademark.” Moreover, the word “trademarked” has an established adjective meaning too: “labeled with proprietary (and legally registered) identification guaranteeing exclusive use; ‘trademarked goods’“.
From my perspective, there is no need for cringing or even correction, just further inquiry into how the words “trademark,” “trademarked,” and “trademarking” are being used.