DON’T put off until tomorrow, what you should do today.
This has been a very expensive lesson for Twitter. And, while it’s nice to have the money to fight the BIG fight, why waste it on lawsuits and US Patent & Trademark Office challenges. This problem could have been resolved had Twitter registered its trademark when it started using “tweets”. But Twitter waited, and now gets to pay–a lot!
Lack of Money is No Excuse.
If you’re an small business entrepreneur, you may be saying,
“But I can’t afford a lawyer to register my trademarks.”
Lack of $$ is no excuse. If you can afford to pay for daily lattes, cigars, drinks, dance clubs, those cute shoes, and music downloads, consider investing in the protection of your valuable intellectual property.
There are many individuals and businesses that acquire overnight stardom. Thanks to things like, reality shows, YouTube, good PR marketing, Twitter, and Facebook it is not unusual to be an unknown one day and a celebrity the next. Since you never know when you and your company will become a valuable asset, protect yourself now.
Facts of the Twitter vs. Twittad case:
Twitter was formed as a company in 2007, and took off
In 2008, Twittad, a small Iowa company, filed a trademark application for “Let your ad meet tweets”
In 2009, Twittad acquired a registered trademark in “Let your ad meet tweets”
In 2010 Twitter tried to register “tweet”, but was opposed consistently because of the Twittad registration
Twitter took Twittad to court to have the registration assigned to Twitter
A few weeks ago, the case was settled and Twitter won.
But rest assured, in order for Twitter to have won, they had to pay a pretty penny to lawyers to clean up the mess. You do the math $3000 for a trademark application filed by a competent attorney, or $200,000+ to pay a lawyer to clean up the mess, plus additional settlement fees.
If you have a distinctive logo, design, phrase, mark and you think it will be a significant part of your brand, register it now!
Hire someone who knows what they are doing to handle it for you, because doing it wrong can be as bad as not doing it at all
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward looking to help you protect what’s yours. Interested in learning more useful legal information, check out my Webinars. They’re affordable and all are recorded.