Trademarks for Entrepreneurs

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Fighting Frivolous Trademarks Groups

Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.

Helen Keller

About a year into my “fighting questionable trademarks” journey, I left the group I’d joined to pursue personal projects and to avoid any appearance of favoritism. But that doesn’t mean I’m against groups! It only means that, as one who hopes to influence USPTO to improve the system, I dare not take sides in seller community controversies over what is or isn’t a frivolous trademark, or what should or shouldn’t be protested. 

I’ve had many conversations with the same Attorney Advisor at USPTO — a helpful, knowledgeable, gracious man I’ll call “Joe” here to protect his privacy. One point Joe has often reiterated is this: USPTO welcomes Letters of Protest because their goal is to issue quality registrations and Letters of Protest are very helpful in that process. The only caveat is, they don’t want multiple protests for the same application. That just creates extra work, and bogs down the system.

So, in addition to this website, I strongly recommend you join one of the “Frivolous Trademarks” Facebook groups, for three reasons: 

1. It gives you a way to coordinate Letter of Protest efforts to avoid multiple protests being filed against the same application (more than five is considered spam by USPTO and will be disregarded)

2. It gives you a place to ask questions as you analyze whether an application should be protested (in case you’re having a hard time applying my “LOP Triage” tips to the situation)

3. It gives you a place to be encouraged and to encourage others in the fight against questionable trademarks

Here are the groups I’m aware of. Join any or all of these communities to make a difference!

Trademark Watch Dawgs – Stop Frivolous Trademarks, 17.5k members

Metal Stampers Against Frivolous Trademarks, 92 members (private? or disbanded? as of 4/3/2021)

Makers Against Frivolous Trademarks, 108 likes (this was an active group in 2018, try sending them a message if you’re interested in joining)