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The New Business Name Saga

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Now the hard part…how to pick out a name for our business. I didn't pick well with BellaDonna Tails. Naming a business after a dead cat doesn't always make for a wise business choice.

I’m beginning to get the overview of trademarks, service marks, word marks, and trade dress means. I’m beginning to figure out what an infringement is. I’m now beginning to catch a clue how the internet makes a small business in one state interfere with another small business in another state.

I read the below too, they were easier to understand than trying to read Federal Code:
http://www.4trademark.com/faqs.html
http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jom/matters/matters-9610.html
http://www.allbusiness.com/articles/Legal/1343-35-1803.html

I tried wading though:
http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm

Read this from MyCorpation.com:
-Registered Federal Trademarks Principal Register.
-Registered Federal Trademarks Supplemental Register.
-Pending Federal Trademark Registrations.
-State Trademark Registrations (NATIONAL--for EACH state).
-Unregistered Trademarks (Common Law Trademarks).
-County Filings (NATIONAL--for EACH state).
-City Records (NATIONAL--for EACH state).
-State Licensing & Regulatory Boards (NATIONAL--for EACH state).
-The Yellow Pages (NATIONAL--for EACH state).
-The White Pages (NATIONAL--for EACH state).
-Domain Name Registrars.

I would have to search all of these databases to figure out if our new name was going to infringe on another business.

Then I thought about hiring a search company to help us. That would make it easier but it is costly and it’s really hard to find Common Law Trademarks. That's almost impossible.

So now what?

We were going to use our names but there is already a Stumpp out there in Germany doing business. Also Bob has an uncle that is an artist. So that really wasn’t going to work. Do ya think that I could of used ‘Moon’? That’s been used and re-used many times.

Or how about anything with any mythical or real life critter? Just how many dragons and fairies are out there? Or anything with fire or has the word beads in it? Or how about Austin, as in the city? Or maybe taking a risk with a mineral, plant, element, or foreign word? The ‘no-no’ list was getting longer and longer as I kept pondering this dilemma. It's overwhelming.

So we picked an ambiguous name like Mixed Media Jewelry. I have searched and searched, then searched again…I can’t find any thing that we are infringing on.

The domain name is www.mixedmediajewelry.com . It’s what we do, it’s the type of jewelry that we make. Our DBA is Mixed Media Jewelry, it’s been filed in the State of Texas.

This is the end of the saga...I hope. I also hope that anyone that is reading this doesn't have to go though what we did. It is a part of doing business but it kinda seems petty in some ways...depending on your point of view. In a world that has fighting in the Middle East, starving people in Africa, and homeless in our streets of Austin Texas...I doubt my saga really means much in the big picture nor should it.

~Moon

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