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Showing posts from April, 2007
A New Newsletter

So apparently when you go on an extended vacation, it takes quite a bit of time to get back up to speed. I'm at about 40mph in a 60mph zone - almost there. That being said, no new post today but how's about a new newsletter.

TradeMark Express launched a newsletter back in March - check it out here. And sign up for it here.

I'll be gearing up to 60, I promise. See you soon!
Taking a Break

The TradeMark Express blog will be on a short recess for a couple of days but a new post will be back up on Tuesday, April 24th.

Remember, Thursdays are YOUR days so if you have a question, comment or email me. I'm more than happy to post your web site and/or contact information, so it's also free advertising for you.

TradeMark Express Blog Schedule

Trademark Information
International Classes Continued…

Let's pick up where we left off last week and continue looking further into the trademark international class system.

A wildly popular class number is easily international class 25, the clothing class. Almost any type of clothing you can think of falls into this classification, except protective clothing. International class 25 also contains shoes and hats.

The USPTO requires that when filing in the clothing class you be specific and boy, do they mean specific. Just saying clothing is not going to cut it. Each and every item must be listed.

What if you're selling t-shirts today but know you want to sell jackets, jeans, shoes, etc. later on?

If you're filing as an In Use application, be honest. List all the items you are currently selling because sending that application off means you signed (even an electronic signature counts!) a document stating that "all statements made of his/her own knowledge are true."

If you're i…
International Classes

Trademark offices around the world use an international classification system to categorize various products and services. When filing a trademark, a class number is assigned according to the goods/services description portion of the application. Many countries base their trademark filing fee on the number of classes filed, the US being one of them.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to take the time to explore a number of these classes a bit further in hopes of providing further insight.

Let's start with the newest kids on the block, International Class numbers 43, 44 and 45. It all starts out very Nice (a little trademark humor for you…*sigh* ;) yeah, yeah I know).

The Nice Classification is based on a multilateral treaty administered by WIPO. This treaty is called the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks

And that's the longwinded way of saying that …
Money Money Money

That's the stuff that seems to vanish into thin air when starting a business. From talking to thousands of small business owners over the years, that's the one thing that's in short supply. Every time you turn around, somebody wants money for something.

A little tip – when hiring a company for certain services, ask if they offer payment plans. Any service company that caters to the small business owner should understand the financial burden starting a business entails & well, it never hurts to ask. TradeMark Express started a payment plan option years ago and while it requires a bit more effort in the bookkeeping department, the benefit it provides to our clients is more than worth it.

Business loans are a viable option for many folks and, like anything I talk about here, research this process fully before you embroil yourself into something like this.

To get started, I suggest contacting the Small Business Administration (SBA). Entrepreneur also offer…
:) <3> As internet speak and emoticons become more and more prevalent, it only stands to reason that folks are going to start capitalizing on it, which in turn leads to them wanting to protect their work.

So, do you trademark or copyright these symbols?

Actually, you can do both. Let's look at examples of each.


Now there are a countless number of emoticons/face images out there but if you do happen to create a new one look into filing for a copyright. Yahoo ® did & you can see that record here.


If you are using emoticons/face images in connection with products and/or services, consider filing for a trademark. Of course, comprehensive research is needed first to ensure that no other party has attempted the same. The USPTO even has a new design code designation just for emoticons.

Plenty of people have already capitalized on this new 'language' in terms of trademarks. Despair Inc has done so for their line of greeting cards, posters & art prints…
Should I Trademark My Band Name?

Using this question as inspiration, I thought it'd be a good idea to examine this topic further.

The decision on whether or not to trademark is not an exact science. It's certainly not going to fit every business' plans. You'll need to gauge your plans, your goals and your dreams. Just because your business is small now does not mean that it will always stay that way.

But whether or not to trademark a band name is a bit stickier. The same principles apply in that you'll have to determine the long term goals.

A few questions to consider that should help you make the decision about whether or not to trademark your band name or your artist name:

1) How serious are you about this business called show?

Is your band something you do with your buddies every now & again? Or is this a full-time gig? If your band is your career, think of it that way.

2) Are you touring?

If you're touring all over your state, all over the country, all over th…
Trademark Headlines

Larry Birkhead Will Not Trademark Anna Nicole Smith Phrase

Orange County man wants to trademark name of communities

Canada to trademark 'winter' for 2010 Olympics

Remember, Thursdays are YOUR days so if you have a question, comment or email me: Shannon at tmexpress dot com. I'm more than happy to post your web site and/or contact information, so it's also free advertising for you.

TradeMark Express Blog Schedule

Trademark Information
Piecing Together the Business Plan

Using last week's post as inspiration, I thought it'd be a good idea to delve a bit deeper into the different components of a business plan.

Another inspiration point is Lance Winslow's article Sample Business Plan Outline, which I also recommended last week.

Using Lance's extensive outline, I found further reading for each of his main headings

1) Executive Summary:

e-Business plan tutorial
Business Basics…by Mike Volker

2) Objectives:

AllBusiness - Business plans include vision, mission statement, and objectives, don't they? What's the difference?

3) Company & Industry Analysis

Company Analysis section of Growthink's Business Plan Development Guide
Rutger's page on Industry Analysis

4) Marketing Analysis

INC's Write a Marketing Analysis that Will Simply Dazzle marketing FAQs

5) Management

INC's Making the Most of Your Management Team

6) Operations

e-Business plan tutorial

7) Legal Strate…
How to Choose a Business Name:
Part Four – Know if the Name is Available

Welcome to part 4 of a 4 part series about how to choose a business name.

Here's the schedule:

3/12: Know Your Industry
3/19: Know Your Customers
3/26: Know Your Message/Personality
• Today: Know if the Name is Available

This subject is, obviously, near and dear to me as this is my bread & butter.

A common mistake many new business owners make is assuming that their business name is available simply because:

* the domain name was available
* the fictitious name was available
* the corporate name was available
* internet research showed the name was available
* yellow page research showed the name was available

The above are merely preliminary indications of what business names, service names, and product names are out there. Only comprehensive research will tell you if a name is truly available for use.

Ok, so what is comprehensive research?

Comprehensive research entails searching a variety of files. The first step…