Woman Spends $17,000 Of Her Own Money To Stop SEO From Being Trademarked

from the now-that's-a-trademark-hero dept

Stephanie Migot writes "Two years ago, the SEO community noticed that somebody they'd never heard of had begun the process of applying for a trademark for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). From the look of things, it was a bit of a power-grab to set standards for which businesses could and could not describe themselves as providing an SEO service.

Naturally, the professionals were a bit alarmed, and at one point there were at least four different oppositions in the works. One by one, however, they all dropped out and it was left to a single individual, who paid the legal bills out of her own pocket, costing over $17,000, to get the application thrown out.

This never should have got that far. But what the story also shows is that the reason why so many dubious patents, copyrights and trademarks live on is because once the sound and fury has died down, there are very few who are willing to follow their opposition through to the end. Also, unless you keep a close eye on applications, it might be too late to take effective action before it's too late."


In some ways, it's even worse than Stephanie describes above -- because beyond being costly, it's often just an incredibly complex process to oppose a trademark or to try to invalidate a patent. The system is designed to focus on the approval process -- and not the opposition process.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Jon Renaut (profile), Mar 25th, 2010 @ 4:51pm

    Kickstarter

    She should sign up at Kickstarter and see if the rest of the SEO community will pay her back.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2010 @ 6:13pm

    "it might be too late to take effective action before it's too late."
    >.>

     

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    Guy Cookson, Mar 25th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    I'm sure plenty of people would be willing to chip in and contribute to the cost of this. Crazy.

    I wonder if I can trademark PPC? (joking)

     

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    WTFSEO, Mar 25th, 2010 @ 6:19pm

    they have

    The SEO community has chipped in and started paying her back via paypal. Last I checked she recouped most of the money, but definitely not all of it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2010 @ 6:52pm

    What a stupid, stupid world we live in where people have to pay to prevent jackasses from claiming they "own" acronyms, particularly acronyms already in wide circulation. When will this retarded "IP" delusion go away? YOU CAN'T OWN LANGUAGE OR ACRONYMS. THEY ARE A FORM OF COMMUNICATION, NOT A PLOT OF LAND. FUCK.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2010 @ 2:14pm

      Re:

      You just keep on thinking that. We like to be amused. Go out and advertise that you sell a cola that you call "Coca Cola," but not the one produced by the company with the same name. I suspect it will not be long before someone sends you a letter.

      In fact, trademarks were established to prevent unfair competition, and the served the public policy goal of limiting or preventing confusion with respect to the origin of goods. Those purposes remain valuable.

      Of course, as with ALL things, abuse can occur.

       

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 25th, 2010 @ 7:39pm

    Huh.

    SEO's fighting back against sloppy trademarks?

    I have no idea which dog I have in this fight.

    Hrmm.

     

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    Richard, Mar 25th, 2010 @ 7:59pm

    DMCA

    echhh Just for the record though, he was trying to do this: http://www.yourseomentor.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/jasongambert.jpg

     

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    Ian Channing (profile), Mar 26th, 2010 @ 2:29am

    She saved us from a proper loon

    Have a look at the front page of the nut job that tried to Trademark this: jasongambert.com

    If he changes it in the future - it currently is a picture of a bleeding Jesus Christ on the cross with this quote:

    John 15:18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."

    Full congratulations to Rhea Drysdale for stopping it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2010 @ 9:10pm

    Why do you think judges tend to favor the side that hires the most lawyers? Because lawyers tend to be involved in lawsuits hence keeping judges employed.

    Another thing judges look at is which side initiated the lawsuit and which side tends to initiate the most lawsuits. Parties that initiate lawsuits also tend to keep judges employed and so judges tend to favor them.

    Imagine if judges simply issued a summary judgment for all bogus lawsuits? It would greatly reduce the need for judges and many of them would lose their jobs as a result.

     

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    Julia, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    I wouldn't have a job if my company couldn't offer search engine optimization and call it SEO. Thanks Rhea! I think this is something that's going to come up more and more often as internet marketers keep pace with the changing landscape and judges, trademark agencies, etc fail to.

     

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    kevin (profile), Apr 25th, 2011 @ 2:54am

    controlling the production of transmedia entertainment had come of age playing with this particular media franchise. In some ways, contemporary transmedia is being produced by kids who grew up playing with He-Man to be consumed by kids who grew up playing Pokemon Wood Pellet Fuel

     

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