Hi, to my fellow advertisers. How do you protect yourself from those who may and will try and use your style of advertising, slogans, commercials, Is there a place to copyright your advertisements so that if someone copied your direct style you could have some sort of recourse?
The answer, however, is basically NO. Sorry.
According to the US Patent and Tradmark Office (USPTO) Circular 34:
Names, titles, and short phrases or expressions are not subject to copyright protection. Even if a name, title, or short phrase is novel or distinctive or if it lends itself to a play on words, it cannot be protected by copyright. The Copyright Office cannot register claims to exclusive rights in brief combinations of words such as:
* Names of products or services * Names of businesses, organizations, or groups (including the name of a group of performers) * Names of pseudonyms of individuals (including pen name or stage name) * Titles of works * Catchwords, catchphrases, mottoes, slogans, or short advertising expressions</blockquote>
Besides, who’s to say your catchy slogans, names or phrases haven’t already been thought of, used or published before? As the old saying goes, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
If you have a distinguishing business name, product name, service name or mark (logo), you may be able to see trademark protection for those elements that uniquely identify you, your business, your products and services. You must already be using this name or mark in business or trade and you’ve got to go through the process of registering it with the USPTO if you’re going to seek protection under the law.
Is it really worth it?
If you’re working in a local market with a unque name, it may not even be an issue. Why go through the trouble and expense of registering a trademark? What purpose will it serve? Remember, the more visible you are to the world (especially the government), the more exposed your business and assets are. A trademark is just one more link to you and your investment activities. I’d rather keep a lower profile.
I think a memorable name and catchy slogans can really help you increase your marketing response rate. However, unless someone else is sponging off of your success by using a similar name or mark, and confusing your potential customers, there’s really no point to seeking even trademark protection, IMHO.
I’d love to hear some of your stuff, though.
Jimbo, your response was excellent. Thanks by the way. You’ve been doing your research. I would be interested to hear what you have to say as well. How long have you been in the investing field? Have you found it to be both exciting and lucrative? What field of investment do you specialize in? :
I just happen to be a little more familiar with copyright issues as a book publisher. I publish my own line of books on career, money and success under the PopBop Press imprint. “$100,000 a Year with Your High School Education” is my biggest title. You’ll see it on Amazon and BN.com. But you can’t buy it there. I’ve recently cancelled all my contracts with all my distributors who want 55% of list prices, full returns, and no payment for books sold–even months after their payment due dates! Publishing is a crazy business! Stick with real estate.
My books are targeted to helping people without a college education or degree achieve extraordinary success in their careers–specifically, six-figure a year careers.
While most of us someday hope to leave the 9-5 grind, we still rely on our jobs as our primary source of cash flow. Career growth is still a relevant subject for many of us. Anyway, I digress.
To answer your questions…
I bought my first house for practically nothing down in 1984 (I was 19 at the time). Ok, I wrote a check for $50 to the title company for some closing fee or such. Dad cosigned on the mortgage loan. The seller, who was a commercial broker, and an old salty dog, was amazed that I only had $50 in the deal. That was my big start.
I then dabbled in real estate for a couple of years back when appreciation was, at best, only 1-2 percent a year. Can you imagine that? LOL. Then, I got busy in my software career as this thing called networking, and eventually the Internet came into the scene.
I’m now investing here in Florida where the market has been crazy for the last few years. It’s now finally softenening up so that conditions are just about right for a buyers market. I’m gearing up for big acquitions in 2006 as interest rates creep up, people get into financial peril and the loose lending practices tighten up. Pre-forclosures, creative financing deals, and lease-options will be my game of choice. Of course, I’m always on the hunt for the quick turn cash-out deal!
I’m also looking forward to less competition this year from “amateur investors” whose recent speculation has only driven up prices more over the last two years. Otherwise normal working people who’ve never invested in anything in their lives have bought one, two or more houses thinking that they’ll cash in on the appreciation fever. However, they’re starting to panic they can’t rent these places that they paid so much for and they’re dumping their properties on the market, which will further depress prices as inventory levels soar (just like we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks!). Hey, it’s just more deals brewing for those prepared to snap them up.
Two years ago, I was in the LA area buying and selling there. I thought the market was going to bust four years ago, but it kept going up and up there. I sold all and bought back in and did very well there in the three short years I was in the market there.
I spent a couple of years out of the game getting my publishing business established. Boy, did I learn the hard way what a sucky business publishing is. But, I think I’ve got it figured out now. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the book distributors will make it at least %55 percent less so. LOL
So, there’s my story in a nutshell. I hope you have all the success in the world.
Thanks Jimbo, interesting investment bio to say the least. Good luck to you in all your future endeavors as well.