Trademarks for Entrepreneurs

Note for New Visitors: I'm not an attorney and you are not my client. Learn more about getting legal help here, and more about this site here.

Trademark Failure to Function by Dr. Roberts

Iowa Law Review Trademark Failure to Function and Letter from Dr. Roberts

Yippee! Tonight the boys brought this in the mail… my long-awaited copy of Dr. Alexandra Roberts’ Trademark Failure to Function article for the Iowa Law Review.

Here’s a link to her letter in case you’d like to read it.

I am beyond ecstatic! My sweetheart knew something was up when I brought it to him, bouncing with excitement as I was. I’m still a bit giddy, and I’ll tell you why. For those of us in the Amazon/Etsy space fighting questionable trademarks, this work is a monumental step towards changing things!

On top of that, Dr. Roberts was kind enough to include us (creatives who have used the USPTO’s Letter of Protest system to fight back) in a couple of footnotes. Better still, her article suggests common-sense solutions to the current problem… but alas, I did not take notes on my first skim through, so I’ll have to create a follow-up to this post later.

Seriously, you should totally send a thank you note to Dr. Roberts:

Dr. Alexandra J. Roberts
University of New Hampshire
UNH School of Law
2 White Street
Concord, NH 03301

For those who don’t know, I discovered Dr. Roberts through this post by attorney Ron Coleman. After I sent her a thank-you email, we ended up corresponding a good deal about how this issue is affecting the print-on-demand industry. I sent her research I’d gathered through Trademark Watch Dawgs (back when I was active in that group) and my own private nerdiness. (Hence the mention in the footnotes.)

So, wow bo diddly, this article is roughly a gazillion pages long, and my/our part in it is pretty small. Which puts me in even greater awe of Dr. Roberts, just for being able to compile so much evidence that change is needed, and to articulate a plan. Respect.

You can read her full article online! Footnotes 31 and 207 mention yours truly. I’m so honored to be included in this important work!