Blogger Trademark Issues
A trademark registration represents a valuable commodity for a blog writer. By blogging, you provide educational or entertainment services that are protectable by a United States trademark. A trademark reserves the right for you to exclusively use the name of your blog.
Do You Mind Another Blogger Using Your Name?
When determining whether you need a trademark for your blog you need to consider whether or not you care if anyone else is using the same name. If you don’t want anyone else utilizing the same blog name you should apply for trademark registration. A registration grants the owner exclusive nationwide rights to their name in relation to the goods or services listed. As a result, you would be the only one allowed to use the name in relation to blogging services.
Blog Trademark Registration, Is it Right for You?
Your blog is your brand. Securing the name in a registration will make it easier for you to differentiate your services down the road as well as increase the value of your blog should you decide to sell it. After all, you could end up like the blogger for TechCrunch who sold his blog and brand to AOL for $25 million. In addition, The Pioneer Woman, Perez Hilton, Above the Law, and Mashable have all secured trademark registrations protecting their blog. As an example of expanding your business, The Pioneer Woman is currently seeking trademark registration for “online retail store services” as well as “aromatic body care products”.
Copyright Blog Considerations
When using someone’s image, video, or written material make sure you have permission to use it. Crediting a source is not a substitute for permission. There is no set number of words or portions of an image that you can use to avoid infringement. Each case of copyright infringement is based on the totality of the circumstances. If you are basing your use on Fair Use, know what’s required.
The Doctrine of Fair Use – a a codified limitation on the exclusive rights of copyright. Section 7 of the Copyright Act of 1976 lists the following as Fair Use:
- Teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use)
Now are you clear on Fair Use? Welcome to the nuanced world of copyright.
The U.S. Copyright Office provides additional clarification by citing the 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law, which provides examples of Fair Use:
- Quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment
- Quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work
- For illustration or clarification of the author’s observations
- Use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied
- Summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report
- Reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy
- Reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson
- Reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported
Fair Use is designed to prevent the unfair limitation on public information. However, make sure you abide by the laws provided in the Copyright Act. Remember, permission to use the content offers peace of mind that Fair Use simply cannot.
Other Questions Regarding Blogs
If you have other trademark or copyright questions please submit them via our contact page. We’ll continually update this page to further assist bloggers with their intellectual property questions. Order a Trademark Search and Registration by simply clicking below.