This site is the work of one mom, just trying to do her part to fix what she believes is broken. The “Trademarks” topic of this site focuses on general articles to educate creatives and other small business owners. The “Trademark System Bias” topic focuses on educating all stakeholders (including trademark attorneys, USPTO staff, and concerned citizens) to support trademark reform. It simplifies the convoluted and confusing land of trademark legalese to help the average person understand how trademark abuse is slaughtering innocent creatives in the print-on-demand industry via twin bandits: questionable trademarks and trademark trolls.
I’m Morgan Reece…
- Christian wife of the most supportive husband on the planet
- Homeschool mom of six (and two more in Heaven)
- Author of Becoming A Smarter Mom: 7 Principles of Calm, Happy, Confident Motherhood (#ad)
- Founder of the upbeat gifts and apparel brand SmarterJoy(TM)
- Former legal secretary (back in the dark ages baby!)
- Unexpected legal liaison for creatives
So glad you stopped by! I value your time, so here’s a quick intro to what you’ll find on this site.
Frivolous Trademarks 101
This passion project is focused on ending frivolous trademarks in the print-on-demand industry, but with a twist: I want to teach other newbies like me what I’ve learned about trademarks so they can choose a brand name for keeps, avoid wasting gobs of money filing applications that will be refused, and set systems in place to protect their brand(s) and creative content.
For most of 2018, I worked (with many others) to learn the USPTO Letter of Protest system. It’s a free tool to fight frivolous trademarks.
define: frivolous trademark
What is a frivolous trademark? The term was coined by others in the Merch By Amazon community. It refers to applications to register popular T-shirt slogans or keywords as “brands.”
For example, if you see “Best Mom Ever” on a shirt, do you immediately think, “Oh yes! I love the Best Mom Ever brand!” No. You think, “Huh. How come my kids haven’t bought me that shirt yet?“ (Joke. Thank you very much. I’ll be here all week.)
An application to register “Best Mom Ever” as a trademark for T-shirts and coffee mugs would be considered a frivolous trademark.
In 2018 I got really passionate about ending frivolous trademarks. They’re affecting people I care about, are costing thousands or even millions of dollars in lost income and legal fees, while chilling legitimate competition in the marketplace. So I did what any purpose-driven mama would do: I dove in deep.
Along the way, I learned about more than just the Letter of Protest system. I discovered there are many IP, legal, and techie (website) mistakes that new business owners are likely to make. I plan to deposit all that trademark information here before it leaks out of my head. Peripheral topics like website creation and other technical issues will go on my author blog at MorganReece.com.
This site is a work in progress. Much of my previous research is already on this site, but there are only so many hours in a day. Feel free to follow my journey (and ask any Letter of Protest/Trademark-related questions) on my Facebook business page.
Thanks for stopping by!