Trademarking a Blog Name

Marty Schwimmer weighs in on whether blog names are trademarkable and whether registration is a good idea. (His answers: mostly yes and maybe).

From my perspective, trademark law is a cumbersome, expensive and unpredictable solution to managing a pool of blog names. Perhaps someone will find a way to develop a blog registry where name conflicts can be identified (and maybe even resolved) without resorting to the expensive legal system.

Until then, new blog creators are well-advised to search in places like Google and Technorati to avoid obvious conflicts. Sadly, many blog creators (like most other types of clients) won’t, so lawsuits on blog names are an inevitable part of our future.

One more thing: if multiple people are operating a blog, then they should have an agreement disposing of the blog assets post-split, just like a band would have an agreement governing who gets the band name if the members split. Another good prophylatic practice that will continue to be ignored until the first lawsuit, when everyone will freak out.

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