Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Green Trademark Featured: EarthTalk®

On Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, the newspaper, Santa Monica Daily Press, featured an article about how painting a roof with white paint instead of a dark color can reduce electricity bills.  The article was written and edited by EarthTalk®, which as it turns out, is a registered trademark and service mark for the following goods and services:

•  Syndicated newspaper and magazine columns dealing with environmental issues.


•  Providing a web-site featuring environmental information about climate change and bio-diversity; Providing a web site featuring information about global warming and its effect on nature and the environment; Providing a web site featuring research information in the field of environmental protection.

Substantively, the article indicates that a white or reflective roof typically increases temperatures only 10 - 25 degrees Fahrenheit above ambient air temperatures during the day, whereas a black or dark roof can increase the temp by as much as 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is an important statistic, particularly because it is estimated that 90 percent of the buildings in the U.S. are dark-colored.

It is also interesting that the owner of this trademark and service mark sought federal trademark protection.  Certainly, this was a savvy decision on the owner's part so that they would have a strong position to defend their rights against anyone else trying to trade on the fame of their mark or to otherwise using a confusingly similar mark for similar goods and services. 

Additionally, since the article was written by the trademark owner and published in the aforementioned newspaper, it included the following source information with respect to the owner's rights:

EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com).....


In conclusion, EarthTalk® is a very good example of a green trademark that has taken advantage of the benefits available from a U.S. Federal Trademark Registration, including but not limited to, presumptive validity and the exclusive right to use the mark, etc.  Another way of putting it is just because someone is keen about protecting the environment this does not mean that you should forget to take steps to protect your proprietary rights.


William E. Maguire

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