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  1. #1
    In light of the realities of Affiliate Marketing (Performance Sales Partnership) today, here are my huidelines to merchants in protecting their trademarks and copyrights online for the best of the company's and its sales partners' interest:

    - Protect your trademarks and your URL from GATOR and gator-alike parasites by taking these parasites to court. It has been proven that this strategy has been successful for many content publishers in protecting their websites and their revenues from thieves that deemed legal by BeFree (but not by U.S. Courts)

    - Protect your trademarks and your company URLs from Overture, FindWhat and other Pay-Per-Click advertising companies. It is your legal right to stop PPC companies selling your trademarks and your URL to your competitors and even back to you!. There is no debate about this fact, you need not pay for what you already have. It is illegal that Overture sells your trademarks to general public without your consent and without even compensating you for the sale. Protect your company from trademark thieves by taking them to court. There are examples that companies have successfully stopped Overture from selling their marks. Do it!

    - If you are too concerned about your own sales people using your name and your marks in order to bring YOU the customers, get out of affiliate marketing business NOW. As a merchant, this is the last base you need to touch in name of protecting your marks. Take the first two actions above before even getting to think about this. If you have not done abything about the above two, do not open your mouth here. Sales people are what makes you sell online. If you are not happy with this idea, get out of affiliate marketing business NOW.

    Because if you don't, you will be forced out pretty soon, I guarantee it.

    - BluesX

  2. #2
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    wow. if 'the' mark in question is generic then what? however, if the mark is non-generic, who'd dare infringing on the owners rights? i wouldn't care to use the mark 'Kleenex' as it's too strong. however, the mark 'facial tissue' would be silly to claim is ip property in the first place. some try though.

    IP is both a sword and a shield. merchants, manufacturers actually, should 'choose' their brand names carefully. a strong brand/mark can be a goliath-monster that are sorta fun to watch.

    Orderer: I'll have a Coke® with that.
    FF clerk: Will Pepsi® be alright?
    Orderer: Oh, gosh, silly me. I meant to say water™, Coke® just slipped out.
    FF clerk: We don't sell water™. Will Pepsi® be alright sir?
    Orderer: Yeah, sure, whatever [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
    Thousands of happy users

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Should a merchant protect variations of its mark, for example the company WidgetCo. Should Overture not be allowed to sell the phrases:

    I can understand these being protected, what about:

    WidgetCo information
    WidgetCo discounts
    WidgetCo stuff
    I don't think these should be

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>BluesX
    huh? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    [This message was edited by Joseph Monuit on September 15, 2002 at 11:45 PM.]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    my post was really intended for manufacturers not merchants.

    the trademark 'widget' is too generic to claim as intellectual 'PROPERTY'. you can use it, anyone can use it. But, to claim that the mark 'widget' is exclusive property would be silly. however, this does not mean that a lot of people don't try to adapt weak marks.

    the us patent and trademark office might even allow such a registration if several conditions are met. but, just because the uspto grants a registration for a weak mark this does not make it strong. for example, a individual or company may have senior right if they've been using the mark for a longer period of time than the 'owner'.

    so, to re-cap with google in mind:

    widget information [ would be okay ]
    coca-cola information [ can only be used by the owner of this property]
    Thousands of happy users

  5. #5
    I like traffic lights
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Southern hemisphere - away from Fukushima
    Great post BluesX!

    A couple of comments about this thread.

    1. "kleenex" is in such wide use as the term for a paper towel ("pass me a kleenex even if it's not a kleenex product in the box") that it may have passed the "TM term" stage to become a generic term for a paper towel.

    2. "coke" is not a coined term. "coke" is coal with the gasses removed from it. So if you have and put up a site about how to make coke from coal, the coca cola company can go get knotted. "coke", and the process to make it from coal has been around a LOT longer that cocacola and their decision to market their drink under a shortened name.

    If you don't belive me, get for me, and I'll set up the site and defend it vigourously.

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