Monday, February 7, 2011

Palin's Latest Failure

was her attempt to register her name with the Patent and Trademark Office.
Why did she fail? Well, most recently it's because she didn't sign the application:

She actually did a number of things wrong (well, her lawyer did, but we'll attribute it to her anyway).
Initially she submitted samples of her name in use that had nothing to do with the grounds she claimed for use.
You have to say HOW you are using a mark in commerce. So the application said "as a motivational speaker".
And you have to provide a "specimen" of your mark in use.
So they provided a newspaper article saying she'd been hired as a Fox commentator.
That's not really motivational speaking, so the specimens were rejected and new ones requested.
Don't know if they were provided because someone then noticed she failed to sign the application. It was rejected for lack of a signature.
Now that's correctable, but what about the samples?

Here's my take: why did she submit for motivational speaking?
Why not register for something she's actually done? She wrote some books didn't she?
So register for books in that genre.
Contrary to what many articles say about it being very hard to register a name as a mark, lots of people do it, particularly authors. Admittedly Danielle Steel is registered for perfume, not books, but she could just as easily register for novels in the romantic fiction field.

So Sarah, cause I know you read this, go back and register for books - or television acting - and produce new specimens and sign the application.

And if you really want to be registered as a motivational speaker, there is a way to do that.
Register an "intent to use" application. That gives you a year in which to actually start using the mark for that purpose.
Get hired as a motivational speaker.
Then print up advertising flyers or invitations for the event and voila, you have specimens.

And don't forget to sign on the dotted line.