About six months ago, I heard some rather troubling news from a company in Europe that delivers programs for me. They conduct “Customer Centered Selling” workshops in a variety of countries. They received a letter from a lawyer asking them to stop using the term, “Customer Centered Selling” because their client was already using it. Fortunately for me, I have a book called Customer Centered Selling that was originally published in 1999. It wasn’t difficult proving the term was out, protected, and in use for over a decade. However, it’s a great reminder why trademarks, and other forms of legal protection, are so important.
The fact is that I don’t copyright, and file trademarks so I can litigate against others. I file trademarks to keep from being litigated against by others!
Why do I pick this week to ramble on about protecting your intellectual properties? Take a good look at the small, but significant symbol change that follows the word BLArticle® and you’ll know why. I’m proud to announce the word BLArticle® has finished climbing through its legal hoops, and has now been officially recognized… twice.
The first recognition is on the legal stage. The term BLArticle® is no longer a trademark pending, and is now an officially registered and licensed trademark. It seems like it was only yesterday when I was attempting to explain to people just what a BLArticle® was. I didn’t want to write a “blog” and tell people about mundane things like my trip to Hardees for a burger. I didn’t want to write an article and create a detailed composition too difficult for people to invest their time in to read. I wanted to apply the intimacy, personality, and the delivery of a blog, and merge it together with true information and instruction that can be found in an article. And most importantly, I wanted people to reflect on it. The word “blog” or “article” just wouldn’t do.
That brings us to the second recognition, which is on the world stage, or at least the urban world stage. I’m happy to announce that the word BLArticle® is now officially a part of the Urban Dictionary! Its definition within this dictionary is as follows:
A short article on a complicated subject designed to inform and stimulate reflection.
Ex: I posted a blarticle about improving classroom behavior on my website.
For the record, that happened all on its own. The Urban Dictionary searches out words that appear on the internet a certain number of times consistently. With years of posting the word “blarticle” with over 60,000 visits to it, and close to 1,000 posted comments about it, the word was picked up. Pretty exciting stuff – watching the word blarticle make its mark in the world!
The irony in this story is that I have not yet fulfilled the rules of the very word that I am writing about! So let’s get to the “information and reflection” part of all of this. If you Google the word “Blarticle,” you’ll see the word has in fact appeared periodically through the years. It was an idea that lay dormant. As with many ideas, it’s not always who is first, but who attacks their idea, fights for their idea, and protects their idea! Imagine putting this kind of time and effort into a project – only to find out that you have built an audience and a brand for someone else’s idea!
So welcome to your first, registered BLArticle®. Thanks to the Urban Dictionary store, you can now purchase your very own Blarticle mugs, mouse pads, magnets, greeting cards, and t-shirts. (For the record, the Urban Dictionary produces these, and I make nothing off the sale of these products… but I think it’s a hoot!)