My large corporate clients follow the “take no prisoners” strategy in protecting their trademarks while my small clients register each of their marks as soon as they are placed into commerce, if not before, using the “intent to use” option under the trademark statute. I once told a client, half-jokingly, that when it comes to protecting your intellectual property, “there’s no app for that.” He replied, “That’s a good tag line. Are you going to register that?” Without missing a beat, I replied “Only after doing a trademark search.”
Following my own advice, I did a trademark search for the tag line “There’s no app for that,” filed my trademark application, and sure enough, my diligence resulted in a registered trademark. What was originally just a play-on-words that came to me while giving trademark advice to someone else is now intellectual property owned by Firm. Alanis Morissett’s lyric “Isn’t it ironic?” comes to mind.
But wait. There’s more to this story. I also teach my clients to “marry their marks” when they can. If you own two marks separately, and are using them together, I tell my clients to register them together for optimal protection. Taking my own advice, I applied for an additional trademark that combined my trademark “Trials. Experience. Strategy.” with my new mark “There’s no app for that.” By marrying two separate marks, my old mark took on a new meaning and sent a new message to existing and future clients: “Trials. Experience. Strategy. There’s no app for that.“
Here is my point. Intellectual property truly is the property of your intellect. Protect it. Diligently. Large clients were once small startup companies founded by an entrepreneur who had a good idea for a new product or service, protected the idea, and eventually took it to market. That’s how they became “big clients.” It sounds simple but it’s hard work. To quote Edison, “Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” Hard work – there’s no app for that, either.