Trademarks is the topic of today’s vendor blog. As a wedding professional you understand the value of delegating and hiring others to work in their zone of genius. But have you considered that your zone of genius may be copied by another? Following this, think about the investment and sweat and tears it took for you to build your brand. Now how important is all of that to you?
We asked Nequosha Anderson, of Anderson Law Firm LLC to guest write on our I Said Yes! Vendor Blog today. She offers expert advice on how to protect your wedding business.
The wedding industry is bouncing back from the Pandemical (aka the COVID-19 pandemic). Consequently the likelihood of others stealing your hard earned intellectual property to build their good fortune is alive and real. That is to say, more and more people continue to steal and copy your “signature offer”. Whether intentional or not. For this reason, did you know you can be proactive in the protection of your “zone of genius”.
Well, my friends, let me introduce you to my little friend, known simply as “trademark”. A trademark is a form of intellectual property protected by United States Law. For instance, you may know a trademark as brand names or logos. Correspondingly, when you see a particular brand, you are immediately thinking of what they sell. For example, Carolina Herrera is a famous wedding dress designer. Assuredly, you can just picture her romantic dramatic styled dresses. In fact, you can distinguish her dresses from another designer immediately. Unquestionably, in the business, that knowing is what we call, “source recognition”.
Trademarks are words, designs, symbols, devices, and names used to identify the source of one good from goods made from another source. Above all, trademarks are invaluable assets and are protected at the federal level by the Lanham Act. Now understand, simply having a brand does not mean you meet the requirements for trademark protections. For this reason, to protect your brand, it must be distinctive and used in commerce.
For starters, trademarking, helps to protect your business identity. Second, it protects against others using the same or similar business name or logo. Third, federal trademark protection extends NATIONWIDE! Lastly, a trademark registration is a business asset, and it can be licensed or sold – show me the money! Also, did I mention that a trademark can be renewed indefinitely, unlike a copyright protection.
STORYTIME. Let me tell you a story about a wedding event planner who went against the Most Powerful Woman in Entertainment — Beyonce. Have you heard of Veronica Morales? In this situation, Morales is the owner of “Blue Ivy Events”. She registered and received a federal trademark in 2009 for the name of her business. However, in January 2012, a famous little baby girl by the name of “Blue Ivy” was born. Of course her famous Mother, Beyoncé, wants to protect the brand of her daughter’s name. Obviously Morales, who secured a federal trademark protection prior to Blue Ivy’s birth, challenged Beyoncé’s right to use the term “BLUE IVY” in a particular class of protection.
In the end, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) did not move forward with Morales’ argument of likelihood of confusion. So the moral of the story is, Morales secured her brand, fought, and continues to fight to secure the protection of her brand. And my friends, you can too, even if you end up going against Beyoncé! NOTE: Morales can still use the trademark she secured prior to the birth of Blue Ivy.
Now, if you have a logo or phrase that is unique to your event wedding business that you want to protect, I welcome you to reach out to me to book your free consultation.
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