This week on LegalPOP we direct our attention to Instagram where @theglamuniversity has taken pettiness to the next level.  I’ll start by admitting that I do not have all of the details HOWEVER I do know this…..

Yesterday @theglamuniversity posted an Instagram video showing the registration of three trademarks, Miss Hollywood Posh, IAMPOSH, and Allure Luxe all marks used by @misshollywoodposh.  I’m not here to dwell on the messiness BUT the caption “I OWN YOU” that accompanied the post SCREAMS for a quick lesson on trademark basics.

GLAM GANG OWNS YOU

Maybe they do but more than likely they just wasted a couple hundred dollars just to prove a point.  Trademarks are brand identifiers.  They help consumers readily identify the source of a good or a service.  The average consumer is bombarded with trademarks every day, every minute, every second. Stop what you’re doing right now I bet you can find five trademarks in less than 15 seconds.

Apple

Brahmin

Nike

Panasonic

Gap

Play along with me, list your five in the comments.

Here’s the thing, if the mark is not associate with a good or service it is not a trademark.  Furthermore, if the mark is not associated with a good or service YOU provide or intend to provide in the immediate future you don’t own jack.

Pettiness Comes With A Price

And I’m not simply speaking of the fees associated with registration.  When you register a federal trademark you are declaring that the statements made in the application are true. Lying on your application, i.e. making willful false statements, i.e. making statements that you know aren’t true, i.e. I am using Acme trademark in association with the widgets I sell knowing good and well you’ve never used the mark Acme a day in your life and you wouldn’t know a widget if it hit you in the head.

Notice that the penalty for making false statements on your trademark application is a fine or imprisonment, or both.

To make sure you know the deal, the United States Patent and Trademark Office modified the requisite statutory declaration language that trademark owners attest to in each USPTO trademark filing to include separate individual declaration statements, and you must electronically execute the declaration by affirmatively check a box next to each statement, the last of which is the standard warning that false statements are punishable by fine or imprisonment.

Bottom Line

I don’t know if Glam University has a legitimate interest in the Misshollywoodposh, IAMPOSH, or Allure Luxe trademarks.  I’m not saying she does or does not. Today’s lesson is this; if you are in business and that business has marks that consumers associate with a good or service make the investment and protect your mark.  Remember last week’s tip of the day, She who owns the name holds the power.  If you’re ready to protect your marks contact my office.

Now you know #WhatsPoppin…

 

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