08 August 2012
(THIS ARTICLE WAS POSTED BY A BIDDER(THANKS WARLOCK) AT ANOTHER FORUM AND REPOSTED HERE WITH PERMISSION)
As a patent and trademark attorney, I'm always curious how many businesses in a given industry acquire (and use) federal trademarks for their brands. A trademark is generally used to identify the source of the goods or services for the benefit of customers. A federal trademark is one that the US Patent & Trademark issues upon application by a person or business entity and is denoted as the (R) symbol [R in a circle.]
It's important for businesses to have at least their name brand registered for at least two reasons. First, a federal mark registration enables a site to generate goodwill more easily than perhaps anything else. Second, an owner of a federal mark registration can block their competitors from creating similar marks that might confuse customers as to the source of the goods/services being offered by the owner. In view of the very high number of sites that use "penny," "cent" or "bid" in their name, a federal trademark registration can further distinguish one's own site from the rest of the pack.
For customers, seeing a penny auction site own and use a federal trademark conveys an impression that the site is serious about their reputation and position in the industry. For some customers, that can an important criterion for assessing whether a site is worth their time.
So how many penny auction sites who interact on this forum have a federal trademark registration? From my count of ~100(+) sites listed as sub-forums, as advertisers, and as introductions, only 18 sites have a federal trademark registration. That's a low number. Those sites include the following:
OrangeBidz (application pending)