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Trade mark
Posted by: kap
Date: August 24, 2011 02:25PM
Aunt has decided to create wonderful bumper stickers from her own clever sayings. How does she trade-mark them? It's not a full fledge business; it's her hobby which might turn into a side job. Tia



SoCal for now.
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Re: Trade mark
Posted by: threeprong
Date: August 24, 2011 02:27PM
[www.uspto.gov]
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Re: Trade mark
Posted by: Winston
Date: August 24, 2011 02:29PM
It's not a trademark unless it's a logo or such for a product or company.

I think you mean copyright.
[www.copyright.gov]


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: Trade mark
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: August 24, 2011 02:37PM
She's in a tricky netherworld. It's pretty hard to protect a witty saying. Unless you put them on T-shirts with an underlying theme (Party Naked, etc.) it's hard to claim them as identifiers of a particular producer. On the other hand, a witty saying is unlikely to be considered a literary work protected by copyright. Copyright law imposes no minimum length, but it will be hard to separate the expression of the idea (which is protected) from the idea itself (which isn't). Someone copying a distinctive typeface as well as the words is more likely to be seen as an infringer than someone who merely repeats the epigram. In the end, though, there's really no remedy in between ineffective saber-rattling (a stern letter sent by her lawyer) and an lengthy, expensive, and very uncertain court battle.
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Re: Trade mark
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: August 24, 2011 02:39PM
Also note that her clever sayings are quite probably extracted from other statements. A bumper sticker with a logo on it (Auntie Says, for example) will protect to a degree.
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Re: Trade mark
Posted by: Chakravartin
Date: August 24, 2011 03:05PM
Quote
Winston
It's not a trademark unless it's a logo or such for a product or company.

Words can be protected, too. The issue is that a protectable trademark has to distinguish the source of the goods (or services if it's a service-mark) from competitors' products.

A unique enough phrase on a bumper sticker could easily be protectable, but if the phrase and product are not uniquely identified with the maker then it won't qualify for federal trademark protection.

[www.uspto.gov]
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Re: Trade mark
Posted by: Winston
Date: August 24, 2011 03:16PM
Thanks for the clarification.

- W



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: Trade mark
Posted by: Rolando
Date: August 24, 2011 11:06PM
Well, I've been reading you can patent just about anything nowadays!
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Re: Trade mark
Posted by: kap
Date: August 25, 2011 08:48AM
Quote
Winston
It's not a trademark unless it's a logo or such for a product or company.

I think you mean copyright.
[www.copyright.gov]


Good luck.

- Winston


You are right! It's copyright that I meant; not trademark.



SoCal for now.
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Re: Trade mark
Posted by: Chakravartin
Date: August 25, 2011 08:52AM
Quote
kap
Quote
Winston
It's not a trademark unless it's a logo or such for a product or company.

I think you mean copyright.
[www.copyright.gov]


Good luck.

- Winston


You are right! It's copyright that I meant; not trademark.

As a general rule, you cannot copyright slogans or functional devices.

The artwork on the bumper stickers might be copyrightable if it's separable and distinct from the bumper sticker.
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