Copyright & Patents/Trademarking An Alias?
I run a blog called The Rat Whisperer, a blog for pet rat enthusiast that includes information on their care, diet, etc. Those who talk about me, referring to my homemade pet rat diet and whatnot, refer to me as "The Rat Whisperer". I was wondering, is it possible to trademark an alias like this?
A trademark is a recognizable sign, design or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others. Trademarks are used to claim exclusive properties of products or services. The essential function of a trademark is to exclusively identify a particular business as the source of goods or services.
A trademark is used for goods and a service mark is used for services. If you are using the mark in interstate commerce, it can be registered as a trademark or as a service mark.
You would need to register with the U.S. Trademark Office and select one or more classes for your registration. The appropriate Classes are Class 31 and 44. For a complete listing of all Classes, see http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/notices/international.jsp
CLASS 31 -- NATURAL AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS Agricultural, horticultural and forestry products and grains not included in other classes; living animals; fresh fruits and vegetables; seeds, natural plants and flowers; foodstuffs for animals, malt.
CLASS 44 -- MEDICAL, BEAUTY & AGRICULTURAL Medical services; veterinary services; hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals; agriculture, horticulture and forestry services.
I prefer Class 44 as a Service Mark, but either or both would work.
I have searched "whisperer" and someone has registered WHISPERER and WHISPERERS in Class 9, for computer software for collection, analysis, modification, transmission, storage, sharing, and tracking of data and information for use in the fields of investment in financial instruments, and currency trading. The standard is "likelihood of confusion", and someone accessing your blog would not be reasonably believe that you are this other company.
Shawna, I hope that this helps and good luck!
--Gerald R. Black
Attorney and Counselor
PS Shawma, whether or not you opt to register this name, you should immediately apply the letters "TM" after the mark, whenever you use it. There are common law trademark rights, and the "TM" is notice to the world that you are claiming common-law trademark rights to this mark. Once the mark has been register, you can use the circled R.