Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Continuing to visit and update

Just as in the last update, I have been out visiting companies. This time, it was to Toy Fair 2011. I met with many interesting businesses of many different sizes. I also tried out many new toys - all were different. (And I did

I truly am excited about small business continuing to develop and innovate.

The development means that there are more ideas coming to fruition and that means more trademarks and copyrights to protect. It also means more advertising to be vetted. It is important to not forget these components to any business, especially in one where intellectual property and advertising is the business.

Trademark infringement is high in China - not because of counterfeiting (which is a different issue) - but because of a lack of knowledge of the trademark process. I see it often in the United States, too.

I am reminded that I spoke to someone recently who asked about a trademark registration. He said that he budgeted for placing the advertisement with a radio station. So, now, his company's trademark and advertisement were out in the ether, in use, but not vetted by an attorney. How does the company know that the mark does not infringe others or if the advertisement passes truthfulness, not misleading, and federal regulations?

Ford sues Ferrari for trademark infringement, as Ferrari planned to call its newest race car the F150. Ferrari backed off and proposes the use of "Ferrari F150 Italia" instead.

What I like here is the idea that more words in a trademark means that two marks that could be similar really are different: the target markets are different, the goods (while in the same industry) are different, and the marks themselves are different enough so that both can exist.

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