Anyone interested in branding should read this BusinessWeek piece from a couple weeks ago (link below). It’s about how Entrepreneur magazine sues entrepreneurs who use the name “entrepreneur” in their business names. That part alone is worth the read, but even more interesting is what their actions teach us about trademark law.
Trademarks are intended to remove confusion from the marketplace, and if a brand isn’t actively defending a trademark, it risks having a weaker, less defensible mark. Anyone who’s tried to get a trademark knows it’s an arduous process—especially for an entrepreneur without a massive legal budget. It takes about one year to be fully registered in the USPTO primary register.
But as this piece reminds us, it doesn’t end there.
Apparently you also have to roll jailhouse style and start a few fights to send the proper message to the marketplace.