Camila runs a fitness and cycling studio. She has developed a unique way that allows her members to lose weight while doing yoga exercises combined with cycling intervals.
Her business has grown exponentially and Camila has recently completed registration of her trademark JENRIDE and of her logo. She also thinks about licensing her program.
She has a lot of clients and good social media presence. Her members have even started calling themselves jenriders to indicate that they belong to Camila’s fitness movement.
Camila really wants to protect her trademark and is a little concerned that her trademark is improperly used so she comes to Trademark Angel for a consultation.
Camila: I need to know how to properly use my trademark JENRIDE.
Trademark Angel: Now that your trademark is registered, it is advisable to put ® symbol next to your trademark and logo to indicate you use them as brands. You can put TM symbol even if your trademark is not registered.
Camila: I am confused how to refer to my trademark.
Trademark Angel: A trademark should be used distinctively. Always capitalize the first letter or capitalize the whole word. So it should be Jenride or JENRIDE. To make the name stand out you can bold it, put it in italics or underline it.
Camila: What about referring to my mark on our promotional and advertising materials?
Trademark Angel: Put an ownership statement on the bottom of your flyers, class schedules, promotions and on your website, like this: JENRIDE® is a registered trademark owned by Jendride Fitness Inc.
Camila: Got it. I also plan to license my program. How should my licensees refer to my brand?
Trademark Angel: Easy. Your licensees should use a proper disclaimer: JENRIDE and JENRIDE logos are trademarks of Jenride Fitness Inc. Used under license.
Camila: Ok. My program is popular so on Facebook our members even refer to this form of exercise as “jenride”, like “I am going to jenride today”. Isn’t it cool?
Trademark Angel: It’s not cool at all. You should never use JENRIDE as a verb to describe your program. This may invalidate your mark. Teach your members to say “I love the JENRIDE program” rather than “I love to jenride”. They should use a noun after your trademark: JENRIDE program, JENDRIDE class.
Camila: I get it. What about changing the name slightly? Some people call it “jendrive” or “yenride”.
Trademark Angel: Do not change the spelling, the trademark or the actual logo. This may invalidate your marks. To stay valid they should be used exactly as registered.
Camila: Wow, so many rules.
Trademark Angel: The strength of many famous trademarks has been lost as their owners didn’t take proper care and didn’t educate the public about proper trademark use. Some famous names that were once trademarks are now common or generic as consumers perceive these trademarks not as a product from a single source but rather an identification of a product type or product category.
Camila: Really? Like which ones?
Trademark Angel: Aspirin, Cellophane, Escalator, Flip phone, Videotape, Linoleum, Thermos were all registered trademarks but have lost their trademark status.
Camila: I will implement your guidelines. I wish I could remember them!
Trademark Angel: To make it easy to remember, here is a little handout to help you remember.
Camila: Thanks, it was helpful. Would you like to join our JENRIDE class today?
Trademark Angel: With pleasure!
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