Gavel to Gavel: Easy paths to profit loss
By Rachel Blue
Tired of kicking over piles of cash as you walk through your startup’s luxurious offices? Here are three easy ways to whittle down your profit margins.
• Give your business a generic or descriptive name. Generic names are simply the name of your goods or services; descriptive ones convey quality. With a name like Lawn and Leaf Care, you won’t have to worry about whether people know what kind of business you’re in, and lots of other businesses will have a similar name. You’ll reduce your bottom line spending a lot of time and energy fielding calls from customers who can’t tell your business from the guy who ruined their shrubs. Plus, you won’t be able to protect the name with a federal trademark registration, since generic and descriptive names aren’t eligible for registration.
• Pick a name someone else is already using on some type of related product or service.
This efficient cash reduction strategy lets you waste time and money on confused consumers looking for your competitor, pay your lawyer to defend you from a trademark infringement claim, spend twice as much on marketing to rebrand and spend money luring back customers who knew you by your old name. Avoid checking to see if the domain name or trademark is available first. Avoid professional trademark searches or the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark database.
• Cut and paste website content from someone else’s website.
Still have cash left? There’s a guy trying to get some money out of Nigeria that needs your account number.
Rachel Blue is an intellectual property lawyer with McAfee & Taft and a former trademark examining attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.