Table of Contents
Written by : Alisa Zanini
Current : 173
Write a comment
Write a comment
hey everyone welcome back to low content publishing for beginners my name's Rachel Harrison son so today we're going to be talking about trademark infringement and how to avoid it so when we're publishing to KDP there are quite a few opportunities for us to inadvertently infringe on someone's trademark and there are lots of different places that we might be able to do this so the title including the subtitle the series our author name description keywords these are all areas that we're going to be entering information and there are all areas where we do not want to be including anyone's trademarked material so those are all areas to watch out for so for example we might accidentally use a trademarked name for our author page so for example we might create an author name called something like creative streak publishing and that might actually be another business that already exists and is a registered trademark or maybe rather than the author name we've decided we want to use some sort of a catchy phrase on one of our covers and we decide to use the phrase a lets get ready to rhumble something that most of us have heard before and you might not know that that is actually a trademarked phrase or we might accidentally use a trademarked word or phrase as part of our title so maybe we've decided to create a dot grid journal and we see that these are oftentimes called a bullet journal so we include that as part of our title over our subtitle so these are all areas we want to avoid using trademarked words or phrases and that does include our description and our keyword selection as well so we're gonna have to do a bit of a trademark search before we end up using something that we're legally not allowed to do so how do we check for a trademark well first thing we can just do some very simple googling so a for example let's say you have an author name that you'd like to use the first thing I would do is just do a quick search for that author name on Amazon and just see if anyone else is using that name now whether that's trademarked or not I would just simply steer clear of that even if it's not trademarked and you're not going to get in trouble about it or for it it's just going to create some fusion if someone is actually searching for your book and another author name comes up you just really don't want that happening so this has happened to me before where I thought I've come up with a really great author name and then I do a little bit of a search right on Amazon and unfortunately that name has already taken so that is just your very first basic step that you should be doing regardless of whether or something is trademarked just do a little bit of a check on that first next just enter that word or phrase into Google and sees see what comes up so you might find that there is an existing business that's already using that name if so you're definitely going to want to check the trademark office which we'll get to in a second here because there's a chance that that business name might have already been registered so apart from author names basically anything that you want to include on your cover if it's a catchy phrase or something that you've heard before you should definitely check just to make sure that it hasn't been trademarked so the way that we do this is by going to the USPTO datem database so that stands for the United States Patent and Trademark Office and that is just going to give you a heads up if someone has applied for trademark or it is already registered as a trademark and this is going to keep you out of hot water so let's just flip the screen real quick here and I'll give just give you the basic tour of the USPTO database and how to check to see if something has been trademarked alright so here we are at the website for the USPTO the United States Patent and Trademark Office and we're going to use their test system which stands for a trademark electronic search system so you can access by going to trademarks searching trademarks and then you're going to scroll down to search our trademark database so we're going to use basic word mark search and we're going to click live we're not going to concern ourselves with any trademarks registered that are now dead sometimes someone will apply for a trademark and then they will end up going through with it or it'll get rejected or something like that and then it will end up dead you don't really care about those we want to know which ones are alive and active right now we can leave plural and singular checked and we're just gonna enter and we're just gonna enter an example here so let's do the Paleo diet now the reason I'm going to choose this one is because this is actually a phrase that I got in trouble for using a few years ago I had created a nonfiction book and it was all about the Paleo diet for vegetarians now I just a didn't know that the phrase the Paleo diet was trademarked and I should have checked it which I did not and the title of my book at the time was the Paleo diet for vegetarians now this book was up and generating sales for months until one day I got an email from KDP telling me that I was in violation of trademark so at the time I essentially just had a warning I had to rename the book I went through my book I took out all instances of using this phrase I had to update my cover and my keywords all of that stuff and and it was fine I made the changes and it was okay but you don't ever want to assume that you're going to be given the opportunity to make that change this is something that can get your account terminated so you really really do want to be just checking these words and phrases I would before you even use them so let's assume for an example that you've created a diet log book for people on the Paleo diet so now because you know you want to use the Paleo diet in the title of your log book we want to just check this out and see what the deal is so I've entered that in here and now I'm just going to submit query and this is going to give us all the live instances of registered trademarks so I'm going to open up a new window for each one here and we will just go through them so the first thing you're going to want to look at is the goods and services so normally when you register a trademark you're going to have to identify exactly what industry that you want to use that trademark in because sometimes people can have a trademark on the exact same or door phrase as long as they're in different industries so for this first one we've got meats I won't go into all that but you can see this is basically food-related now the other thing you really want to take note of here is scrolling down to owner and you want to see if it says registrant or applicant so if you see applicant what that means is that someone has applied for the trademark for this word or phrase but it hasn't been granted yet now that could mean a few things that could mean that it's still in the process of being approved and registered it could also mean that there's some problem and the application is actually going to be refused and we'll get to that in a second but my advice is if someone
Thanks for your comment Jeanetta Novik, have a nice day.
- Alisa Zanini, Staff Member
hi everybody welcome back to sunshine's open candle company and welcome to part two of my q a with an intellectual property attorney part one of this video was released last week and we discussed terminology like trademark patent copyright why people confuse them and how to protect yourself against certain things like trademark and copyright infringement if you haven't had a chance to check out part one of this video i'll go ahead and leave an information card with the link and i'll also place the link in the description box below i think you all will find it super helpful in today's video we take a deeper dive into more specific questions that you all had regarding naming products and trademarking and how to protect yourself from infringement and other items that small businesses should really take a look at without further ado let's jump right in to the second half of my interview good marks and patents so as far as trademarks are concerned let's say i'm turning over a lot of products and i don't really want to trademark all of them and maybe don't really have the money to trademark all of the product names how can i avoid a trademark infringement i'm sorry what was the last part of that question how can i avoid a trademark infringement if i don't want to trademark everything you don't want to trademark yourself yeah so um you know with trademark infringement with putting products out there um unfortunately it can be very fact specific as to the name you're choosing and to the type of goods you're selling so i don't think i mentioned this with regards to trademarks but a trademark if you trademark a brand name for example that trademark is registered to a specific category of goods or services so for example in my my sample business of blue sky t-shirts if i were to get a trademark on that it would probably be limited to you know t-shirts apparel things like that and you know when you think about it there's a reason for that you know we don't want someone who owns a t-shirt company getting a trademark on blue sky and then preventing anyone from ever using that name you know if there's a seafood restaurant that wants to open and call themselves blue sky it's an entirely different type of business and there's not going to be a likelihood of confusion as i said so you know we want to allow these different businesses to get trademarks on their specific categories now that being said just because i've received a trademark on a specific category of goods doesn't necessarily mean that my trademark is limited to that goods it can expand beyond that which i think you said you know that was something you didn't understand at first was that the trademark is to specific category it's not limited to that category so some things you can do to you know limit the risk for trademark infringement is to really be proactive in that if you're going to release a product you know um again it's always good if you have an ip attorney to to talk to that attorney to you know let them know here's the products we're planning to release this year um you know preparing for the meeting with the attorney and and gathering evidence and kind of understanding you know the vocabulary can really help that meeting with the attorney be efficient and that for example you know it's often a good idea when you're naming new products to come up with several names and you know when you go to an attorney or when you start looking yourself you know if you find the first name is you know might be risky from a trademark perspective then you've got some other options um so don't just wed yourself to the first name that you come up with um as far as being proactive about trademarks um you know i can't give specific factual advice about how to avoid it in every instance because it is so factually specific but some things that you can do proactively to educate yourself is um you know one thing is you know the federal registration symbol which you might have seen it's it's an r with a little circle around it um you'll you know famous brands will have that you'll see the r with a circle around it after their name what that means is that there's a federal trademark on that name so if you see that that should be initial red flag of like i definitely you know should avoid using that name but the trademark office also has a website where you can search through trademarks and see what trademarks are already out there for you know names that are identical or similar to your name if you're you know coming up with a new product and you want to research that it'll also show the goods or services that that name is associated with you know that being said again it's really helpful for you to engage an attorney on this issue because as i'm sure you've learned it can be very factually specific it's not always as straightforward as it seems but you know some things that you can do to cut down on that time with the attorney and to you know make it more cost effective for you is you know you're the best unders you know best person to understand your market so if you go to the attorney and you say here's the product name we're thinking of coming up with you know here's what our business sells here's some of our competitors you know here's what they sell here's some names that we've come across that look kind of similar and you know we'd like for you to look at this and tell us if there's any potential liability there um by doing that legwork you know as an attorney i will still independently run these searches myself to look to see if you've missed anything because i want my search to be as complete and accurate as possible but these are just some you know simple things that you can do that help get the process going and if i see that list of you've already collected all this evidence and you've told me all about your business i mean it's a huge you know amount of work that's already done that i can i can use and i can then i can then look at it and give you legal advice based on the evidence that you've given me and it'll you know cut down the amount of time i have to do which in turn saves you money which you know like i said we work with a lot of small businesses so we're very you know conscious of cost effective as possible so i work with that's often often some advice that i give them okay so those were some really good points about how to avoid like some basic trademark infringement and preparing to work with an attorney um is there anything else that you can think to add regarding avoiding trademark infringement and preparing to work with an attorney i mean you kind of touched on that a little bit with doing your own searches and coming up with several different names before you you know decide on one definitively um what about if you want to keep your product names just descriptive and generic is there do you need to trademark in that case like for instance when i named when i renamed the um the night cream in question that i had the trademark infringement on we just basically rebranded it and renamed it to something totally generic and described the product anti-aging eye cream night cream so
Thanks Ruby your participation is very much appreciated
- Alisa Zanini
About the author
I've studied comparative psychology at University of Michigan-Flint in Flint and I am an expert in calculus (outline). I usually feel smart. My previous job was able seamen I held this position for 21 years, I love talking about tai chi and mixology. Huge fan of Babe Ruth I practice laser tag and collect swarovski figurines.
Try Not to laugh !
Joke resides here...