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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Everyone, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today Show, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, business owner, get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. Happy Monday again, and we’re still in our FIFA World Series session. This is week two of this, and we’re celebrating soccer around the world. It’s a really fun event. If you don’t have time or if you do have a little bit of time, check it out on TV. Just check out a match. You may think that soccer is just a simple game where they kick a ball from one end to the other, but there’s a lot to it, like any other sport. It can be broken down into the little finite details, and it’s really fun to see these athletes excel at a sport. It’s even better to see this and know how much interest there is worldwide. You think about a sport in the U.S. like football, F-O-O-T-B-A-L-L, where you think of that football being thrown around, there’s tackling. That’s really only in the United States. There’s not a whole lot of the country, maybe Canada, that gets involved in that type of football. This is soccer, and many, many countries, and we’re talking 100 plus countries, all play the game. So, it’s a really fun thing to see the world come together and compete in this tournament. Hopefully, your team is still up and active and still in the tournament as it moves forward.

What I want to talk about this week is kind of covering the gambit of IP and trademarks, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and privacy law in the context of FIFA World Cup. So today, we’re gonna tackle trademarks. Trademarks, you’ve heard me talk about this a little bit before. It’s important that we distinguish trademarks from patents. Trademarks are those brands, okay? The word marks or designs, also called logos, that are affiliated with a particular company. Not just the company itself, but the products and services that they deliver. That’s trademarks in a nutshell. It’s making sure that customers understand where those goods come from. The brand, the source identifier, so they’re able to understand and appreciate the quality, the different attributes that go with the product or service, and that’s what gets associated. The idea of trademark law is that you have a particular word or logo that you use to identify your goods, stamp it on there, say that you’re JD’s magic water, whatever it is. That’s the name your customers see, and over time, they begin to appreciate and associate that name, particularly with your source of goods, in this case, water in my example. The power behind that is that you’ve now created a distinction, so that no one else in the market for water can use that mark without your permission.

So, the government, through the Lanham Act, has given priority and gives legal enforcement to those that are in the stream of commerce out there competing and doing good work selling goods. They give them the enforcement ability to protect that name, so that they can be the only one that has used that name. The whole premise around that is that there’s not someone that can come in later and steal the goodwill, right? And take over JD’s magic water after I’ve already spent maybe five or ten years building up all the name recognition. That goes to show why names like FIFA, ID, this, that are very familiar in the soccer community. Why those are so important to those companies and all the employees and the managers and, of course, the owners of those businesses because they’ve worked so hard for so many years in gaining the respect of all the customers that they serve. That’s trademarks in a nutshell. You can find out a lot more on our website at boldIP.com. You can also get on the phone and call us.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at https://boldip.com/contact/