Trademark your blog name in three easy steps

by CountryFriedMama on June 10, 2011

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So, ever since we got the news about Country-Fried Daddy’s fellowship in the frozen north, I’ve had some nagging concerns about how this might affect my blog. (Yes, I was also concerned about the impact on the children, on our finances and on our families, but, you know, mostly on the blog.) The questions plagued me night and day:

  • Can I be Country-Fried if I’m living in a cramped city apartment?
  • If I’m no longer a Yankee mutha living in the deep, deep, DEEP South, will my blog lose focus?
  • Can I come up with a pithy edit for my tagline that can explain — in five words or less — that I am still CFM, just temporarily relocated to the most liberal seven square miles in the country?

I had no answers to these questions.

It occurred to me it might be time to walk away from blogging.

But then, one afternoon, an envelope arrived in the mail. It was my trademark certificate. Country-Fried Mama is now registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Damn.

I wish I knew how to quit you, blogosphere, but it looks like I’ll be stickin’ around. I worked too hard for that trademark to walk away now.

Want a shiny trademark certificate of your very own? Here’s how I got mine, in three easy steps:

Step one: Get pissed off.

Maybe it was a misunderstanding. Maybe it was a series of unfortunate coincidences. But when another   blogger first changed her blog name to something quite similar to mine, I got concerned. When she adopted an image quite similar to mine I got pissed. When a PR rep. at a conference mistook me for her and tried to get me to review a loaf of sandwich bread, I got motivated. I decided all of these hours I have poured into this blog, this memoir of my children’s lives, this litany of my neuroses, it’s worth protecting.

Step two: Call on powerful allies.

It helps to have lawyers on your side, especially ones who are friends or relatives, who agree to give you “friendly thoughts,” which are free, as opposed to “advice,” which is not. My allies shared two crucial thoughts with me:

  1. If there is a likelihood of confusion between you and another person in your general market, you can claim infringement if you have trademarked your brand.
  2. Trademarking is a first-one-who-gets-there-wins kind of thing. It doesn’t matter who started blogging first or who chose an associated image first. Whoever trademarks first owns the brand.

Step three: Learn how to read Greek.

Okay, I didn’t really learn how to read Greek, but it felt like that might have been helpful. Among the many things I found hard to understand during the trademark process: the USPTO website, the trademark application, the numerous e-mails I received from USPTO during the 18-month process, the numerous e-mails I received from sleazy lawyers (not my wonderful, powerful allies) trying to con me into hiring them for big money, the numerous letters I have received from Eastern Europe trying to con me into buying an international trademark. (What it is with me and people in the Ukraine?)

That’s it. Three easy steps, a year-and-a-half of paperwork and waiting, a few hundred bucks, and BAM. Just like that, this blog is trademarked.


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{ 1 trackback }

You’ve been Stumbled!
June 10, 2011 at 9:22 pm

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamie
Twitter: followthelines
June 10, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Thank heavens that’s that! For serious – the blog name. Keep it – somehow. It’s just…you.

Maybe a take on the past tense like, “A Yankee Motha Who Once Lived in the Deep South”???

Good luck with that :D

Reply


Twitter: saving4someday
June 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Hello Country-Friend Mama,

First to register is not correct b/c TM is based on first use in commerce. If that other chicklet had registered the TM you could have opposed it on the basis of having used it first.

Fortunately, for you, you registered it first as well as used it first.

So, as Southwest Airlines says – feel free to move about the country!

Sara

Reply

Country-Fried Mama
Twitter: countryfried
June 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Hmm. Perhaps I misunderstood. There WAS all that Greek…

Reply

Totsymae June 12, 2011 at 7:10 am

So glad I found this blog, Country Fried Mama. And thanks for the trademark process, by the way. The best to you in your new locale.

Reply

Rachel @ Grasping for Objectivity in my Subjective Life
Twitter: objectivityrach
June 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Wow. That sounds…perfectly painless.

I think I have an idea who your infringer was, but I could be wrong…

Reply

Country-Fried Mama
Twitter: countryfried
June 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm

You are probably right…

Reply

Courtney June 12, 2011 at 9:06 pm

You BETTER NOT stop blogging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :<}

Reply

bubbe June 13, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I second that emotion. “You better not stop blogging!” i’ve been going through withdrawal since the last post.

Reply

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