TM.Biz News & Updates

Trademark Clearinghouse portal for trademark lawyers and brand protection providers

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

TM.Biz announces a Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) portal for trademark lawyers and brand protection providers.

Dubbed “TMCH-in-a-box”, the new portal boosts the productivity of trademark lawyers interacting with the Trademark Clearinghouse by organizing trademarks and supporting documentation and pre-validating all trademarks against online trademark databases.  TMCH-in-a-box will submit the records to the TMCH and track the completion of the applications.

Interacting with the TMCH is not just a one-time event.  The TM.Biz offers a flat-fee subscription service that covers more than just the initial submission and pre-validation of the trademark to the TMCH.  It also includes monitoring of up-coming Sunrise Periods and forwarding of Trademark Claims notices matching the trademark for an entire year.

Any trademark lawyer or registrar helping their clients submit trademarks to the TMCH will benefit from using the TMCH-in-a-box portal.

The features of TMCH-in-a-box include:

  • Pre-Validation: Searches online trademark databases to ensure your trademarks are eligible.
  • Document Preparation: Makes sure you have all necessary documents
  • TMCH Submission: Submits your trademarks and documents to the TMCH
  • TMCH Follow-up: Monitors requests for additional documentation
  • Sunrise tokens: Manages your Sunrise tokens for you
  • Sunrise alerts: Alerts you when new Sunrises are scheduled
  • Claims notices: Alerts you when your trademark has generated a claims notice

Pricing Models

There are no setup fees or monthly minimums required to have a TM.Biz account.  Pricing is based on a per trademark basis plus any TMCH fees.   There are several TMCH-in-a-Box pricing models to choose from:

  1. No pre-payment required.  Users would utilize TM.Biz as their Trademark Agent to the TMCH and be invoiced for trademarks pre-validated and submitted to the TMCH
  2. Pre-payment directly to the TMCH.  Users would create their own TMCH Trademark Agent account with a pre-payment of $15,000 and utilize TM.Biz to pre-validate and manage their TMCH Agent account
  3. Pre-Validation only.  Users would use TM.Biz for pre-validation only and would submit trademarks to the TMCH on their own

Law firms and Registrars – Contact sales@TM.Biz for a quote today.

Trademark Fact Check available to TM.Biz users

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Today, a new service called Trademark Fact Check launches. It helps brand owners secure or block their marks during the upcoming Triple-X sunrise A and B in a cost-effective and timely manner. Trademark Fact Check compares the sunrise application that brand owners supply with official trademark data available online. Best of all, TM.Biz users can access this service via a custom Trademark Fact Check tab on their TM.Biz account.

Trademark Fact Check is an innovative tool for brand owners because with it they have the opportunity to correct any mistakes before providing payment to the Registry. Of course, once their application is submitted, no edits or corrections are allowed and the fee is non-refundable.

The entire press release announcing the launch can be found here. Also, to read more about Trademark Fact Check, visit http://www.tm.biz/tmfactcheck.htm

Dormant accounts on Facebook and Twitter available on request

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Trademark owners should take note of an article, How Adam Got @Adam and Became Cool Online in today’s Wall Street Journal about usernames on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

The article mentions that accounts are considered dormant if not used for six months.  Although they may not be deleted, they are vulnerable to reassignment upon a request.

This can be a simple way for trademark owners to reclaim usernames representing their trademarks.

However, this is also be a warning for trademark owners who have defensively reserved accounts on social networks to protect their trademarks but are not using them. It’s important that the account are kept active, as well.

Read the full article and let us know your thoughts.

@CeoSteveJobs: No laughing matter for Apple

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Yesterday, we wrote about California’s new law that makes impersonation of individuals online illegal. And, sure enough a legitimate complaint in the same vein has popped up right away. We at TM.Biz believe it will be the first of many, many complaints.

TechCrunch’s article “Apple Goes After The Parody @CeoSteveJobs Twitter Account” is a great summary of how a parody Twitter account has been asked to modify its account content.

See the article here.

New controversial California Bill: trademark protection for individuals?

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Once again, California is leading the nation in progressive and controversial policies – this one addresses online impersonations.

A New California bill, SB 1411, effective 1/1/11, provides that any person who knowingly and without consent credibly impersonates another actual person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means, as specified, for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Is this essentially trademark protection for individuals? What legislation is coming next?

TM.Biz mention in David Gryce’s IP Blog

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

We were recently mentioned in the blog post titled, Trademarks and Social Media: Five Measures for Brand Health on David Gryce’s IP Blog.

An interesting read for lawyers, commercial enterprises, artists and trademark owners. Check it out here:  http://davidgryce.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/trademarks-and-social-media/

Announcing our Reseller Program: Bundles user names with domain name registration services

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Today, we’re happy to announce a reseller program for domain name resellers interested in offering social network user names services to their customers. The TM.Biz Reseller Program offers a simple programmable interface for resellers to seamlessly offer the real-time reservation of user names to their domain name customers.

See below for the rest of our announcement:
“User names from social networks are the new brand identifiers for the Internet. Companies launching new brands must now secure their brands on networks such as Facebook and Twitter before any product announcement,” says Tom Barrett, founder of TM.Biz.  “With our reseller program, companies can secure their new brand on the leading social networks at the same time they secure their desired domain names from their favorite domain name reseller.”

Social media has become the number one activity on the Internet, representing 25% of online time by end-users.  While there are about 200 million domain names, the top 20 social networks alone have an estimated two billion user names.  The popularity of social networks is demonstrated in the appearance of brand’s social network user names on billboards and television commercials instead of their domain name.

The same first-come, first-served procedure exists for user names as for domain names.  However, there is no trademark dispute policy for user names.  In addition, many social networks follow a practice of not releasing deleted user names.  So, brand owners should act fast to secure user names even if they are not planning to use them right away.

By using the TM.Biz programmable interface, resellers can help their customers secure user names on the top 500 social networks.  Resellers for TM.Biz enjoy the following benefits:

  • Resellers maintain the customer relationship throughout the process
  • Resellers develop a new recurring revenue stream from existing customers
  • Resellers are provided a turnkey service that does not require any capital investment

Interested resellers should contact sales@tm.biz for more details.

Don’t have a free TM.Biz account yet? Visit www.tm.biz and sign up today!

ReadWriteWeb Guest Post: YourName(R) – Trademark Protection is Coming to Social Networks

Friday, November 19th, 2010

TM.Biz President, Tom Barrett was a Guest Author for ReadWriteWeb. The article ran today and is generating some conversations about trademark protection on social networks.

YourName(R) – Trademark Protection is Coming to Social Networks

By Tom Barrett / November 19, 2010 9:00 AM/ReadWriteWeb

Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild, unregulated world. Facebook and LinkedIn, among other online social networks, are vast private communities that have thrived without oversight from any policy-making body. And new social networks are proliferating like bed bugs in a cheap hotel. As a result, trademark protection on social networks is becoming a serious concern for corporations.

Your personal and corporate reputation and popularity on these networks pivot on an identity known as your username. The role of usernames as brand identifiers is following a similar pattern as domain names but without any of the protections that trademarks owners enjoy.

Click here to continue…

Service Update: New Power Tool Enables Portfolio Audit of Usernames on Social Networks

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Today, we’re launching Power Tool, a significant addition to our workflow tool to help secure trademarks and brands on social networks. Power Tool allows enterprises to upload their portfolio of trademarks and search for matching usernames across the Internet’s top 500 social networks. Users can investigate taken names, reserve available usernames and share results.

To celebrate the launch, we’re waiving fees for Power Tool during the month of November.

Read the rest of our formal announcement here:

The TM.Biz Power Tool can be used to achieve different objectives within the lifecycle of a trademark.  It can be used as a bulk availability search for a list of names of a proposed new brand or to research a company’s entire trademark portfolio. Search terms can be entered in a search box using cut-and-paste or uploaded via a simple text file.

“This is an opportunity for trademark owners to perform a portfolio audit to see how well they are protected on social media and to determine if there is social squatting on their trademarks,” says Tom Barrett, President of TM.Biz. “Most trademark owners are concerned about Facebook and Twitter, but lesser known sites such as Habbo and Qzone with a combined membership of 300 million users is also where they could be exposed. Our new service searches the 500 most popular social media sites and we’re offering Power Tool for free during the month of November.”

The TM.Biz Power Tool works offline, freeing up the user to do other work while it is processed. Once completed, users can review the results in a single report or review the results online using the TM.Biz dashboard. Reports are also available in downloadable text-only formats to allow law firms and resellers to generate private-label reports for their clients.

“With Power Tool, trademark owners can now search hundreds of trademarks in one step, saving them weeks of labor costs for a low price,” says Tom Barrett, President of TM.Biz. “TM.Biz is the only service that allows a one-step trademark search of usernames on the Internet’s top 500 social networks.”

In addition to TM.Biz’s Search capabilities, the TM.Biz’s workflow service also reserves social network usernames, generates in-use reports and offers annual watch subscriptions. Access to the service is restricted to trademark lawyers and brand managers. Eligible users are invited to apply for a free account at http://www.tm.biz.


Law Technology News: Protect Your Property with TM.Biz

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Law.com recently published the following article:

Protect Your Property

Two new sites protect your trademarks and your wallet.

By Robert J. Ambrogi, Law Technology News

This month, we feature two new sites for lawyers. One helps you protect your clients’ trademarks from being lost within the dense and vast environs of hundreds of social networking sites.  Read more…

TM.Biz featured in Boston Business Journal

Monday, October 4th, 2010

TM.Biz aims to take the Wild West of Social Media

BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL – BY Lisa van der Pool

The world of social media has been described as the Wild West, especially when it comes to trademark and copyright protections.

Since the popularity of websites like Twitter has exploded, celebrities and companies have been impersonated on social networks and the topic of whether or not tweets can be copyrighted has been raised frequently.

Now, a new Boston-based firm called TM.Biz has launched this week as a way to help companies “secure trademarks and brands” on social networking sites.

Mainly the startup will focus on helping companies secure trademarks of usernames, on such sites as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the many other smaller sites that have popped up recently.

Read more: TM.Biz aims to take the Wild West of Social Media – Boston Business Journal

TM.Biz featured on BrandChannel

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Protecting Brands on Social Networks

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 16, 2010 04:47 PM

As much as consumers worry about protecting themselves on the virtual Wild West of social media, brands worry too, particularly when it comes to securing trademarks. Brandchannel readers are well aware of the trademark battles faced by brands; just today, we looked at

legal spats involving Starbucks and Lego.

So we were interested to read about TM.Biz, which just launched a proprietary tool for securing trademarks and brands on social media networks, marking a step forward for against cybersquatting.

The business model is simple: accounts and search services are free, but there’s a charge for generating reports and reserving names. For now, TM.Biz is targeting corporations, but a service for smaller businesses is on the drawing board.

“It’s time that trademark best practices incorporates social media in the traditional lifecycle of a trademark,” says Thomas Barrett, President of EnCirca, the company behind TM.Biz. “TM.Biz is the first service of its kind geared towards the unique needs and workflow of the trademark professional.”

TM.Biz offers several tools:

• Availability Search service of usernames on the top 500 Internet social networks. Results can be parsed by client or brand, saved and shared with clients.

• User Name Reserve replaces the tedious, manual process of: reserving usernames; establishing user accounts; and provides a dedicated mailbox to catch spam.

• Status Watch alerts clients via email if their “watched” username is pinged or a new social network of relevance emerges.

• In-Use Reports compile screen shots of existing profiles where trademarks are already in use, and the reports are available to law firms and resellers for creating private-labeled reports for their clients.

Trademark lawyers may apply for a free account. William M. Borchard, Partner, Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, comments, “Our clients take steps to protect their trademarks – arguably one of their most important assets.  In social media, TM.Biz provides a great, cost effective, tool tailored to the trademark industry.”

EnCirca, a domain name registrar has been protecting trademarks since 2001. Barrett has 15 years experience in trademark research and protection, and led development of the SAEGIS trademark research platform while a VP at Thomson & Thomson.

“The role of usernames as brand identifiers is following a similar pattern as domain names. However, the protection mechanisms trademarks enjoy with domain names do not exist on social networks; there is no uniform dispute policy to recover violated trademarks; there is no public Whois to determine the username’s owner; and there are no anticybersquatting laws to prevent consumer confusion over the source behind a trademark.”

Why register your trademark on so many (500!) networks?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
For trademark owners, establishing a presence across various mediums is an important, but time-consuming task. And, it’s generally accepted that it is prudent to protect your marks on the most popular social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook. But registering your name on over 500 social networks? Some trademark owners wonder “Do I really need to protect my name on that many networks — especially on the ones I’ve never heard of?”

Based on TM.Biz’s feedback from current clients, let us weigh in:

In regard to social networks, many of our clients are actively managing only their accounts on Twitter and Facebook; however they certainly do not want impersonators or cybersquatters misrepresenting them on other networks. In that way, the role of usernames as brand identifiers is following a similar pattern as domain names and many industry professionals are recognizing the need for reserving their username on all networks.

When protecting a trademark, there are several things to address – but we believe it’s time for social media to be a consideration in the traditional lifecycle of a trademark.

As a result, TM.Biz has tailored its solutions to allow users to outsource the tedious process of checking usernames. We search all networks simultaneously instead of one by one – making the process quick and really affordable – as it’s completely free! We also allow users to save all previous searches so variations on a trademark can be researched as well as a whole portfolio of marks.

Finally, TM.Biz does a lot more than search and reserve usernames.  It also generates reports to aid in clearing new trademarks, conduct in-use investigations and be alerted to potential infringements.

Trademark lawyers and brand owners can sign up for a free account and use all of our features at http://www.tm.biz

TM.Biz launches trademark protection tools for social media

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

We’re proud to announce that today TM.Biz (http://www.tm.biz) launched its new workflow tool to help secure trademarks and brands on social networks. TM.Biz searches, watches and reserves usernames on the Internet’s top 500 social networks.

Here’s the rest of our press release from this morning:
“It’s time that trademark best practices incorporate social media in the traditional lifecycle of a trademark,” says Thomas Barrett, President of EnCirca,  the company behind TM.Biz. “TM.Biz is the first service of its kind geared towards the unique needs and workflow of the trademark professional.”

TM.Biz’s Availability Search service is a free search of usernames on the top 500 social networks. Users can segregate results by brand or client, save their search history and share results with their clients.

“Our clients take steps to protect their trademarks – arguably one of their most important assets,” says William M. Borchard, Partner, Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman.  “In social media, TM.Biz provides a great, cost effective tool tailored to the trademark industry. The TM.Biz product for reserving a username is thorough, and they were able to customize it to meet our needs.”

The TM.Biz User Name Reserve completes the manual and tedious process of reserving usernames on social networks. TM.Biz completes all the stages of establishing user accounts and provides a dedicated mailbox to eliminate spam and marketing messages from flooding client’s primary email addresses.

The TM.Biz Status Watch service monitors and notifies clients if someone reserves their “watched” username or a new social network emerges that they should be aware of.

TM.Biz’s In-Use Reports compile screen shots of public profiles where trademarks are already taken as a username.  Trademark lawyers may then investigate if trademark infringement or dilution is impacting their client’s trademark.

All TM.Biz reports are available in downloadable text-only formats to allow law firms and resellers to generate private-label reports for their clients.

“The role of usernames as brand identifiers is following a similar pattern as domain names,” says Barrett, “However, the protection mechanisms trademarks enjoy with domain names do not exist on social networks; there is no uniform dispute policy to recover violated trademarks; there is no public Whois to determine the username’s owner; and there are no anticybersquatting laws to prevent consumer confusion over the source behind a trademark.”

Trademark lawyers are invited to apply for a free account at www.tm.biz (http://www.tm.biz).

###

About TM.Biz and EnCirca
TM.Biz (http://www.tm.biz) is a service of EnCirca, Inc. (http://www.encirca.com), a domain name registrar.  EnCirca has protected thousands of trademarks since 2001.  EnCirca’s President, Tom Barrett has over 15 years of experience in trademark research and protection.  He was previously Vice President of Thomson & Thomson, where he led the development of the SAEGIS trademark research platform.

TM.Biz featured on LawSitesBlogs.com

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Robert J. Ambrogi, author of the Law Sites blog featured TM.Biz on Friday.
New Site Protects Trademarks in Social Networks can be read here: