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WEB/DIGITAL Â® ?

sugar

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Nov 6, 2007
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a few questions....

• How does one trademark their site/idea, to ensure that it has not been done before? How close can one get to anothers idea, if you know you can do it far better?

• How do you research an internet idea to be sure it isn't already trademarked?

Cheers,
 

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JScott

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You don't Trademark a website. But, you can copyright the content on the site, and you can patent any inventions used by the site.

For the most part, there is no way to keep another website from doing whatever it is your website is doing; the site that has the better content, prices, marketing, etc, will usually get the most customers/users/visits.

Here's some more about the differences between Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights:

http://www.lawmart.com/searches/difference.htm
 

MJ DeMarco

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a few questions....

• How does one trademark their site/idea, to ensure that it has not been done before? How close can one get to anothers idea, if you know you can do it far better?

• How do you research an internet idea to be sure it isn't already trademarked?

Cheers,
Ideas can't be trademarked. Once your idea hits the public domain, someone can copy it and remake it in their own vision (new graphics, copy, etc.) You probably are referring to a patent which protects inventions. Trademark is for designs and logos.

Below is an explanation of the three protective methods courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org
Wikipedia.org said:
A trademark or trade mark[1] is a distinctive sign or indicator of some kind which is used by an individual, business organization or other legal entity to uniquely identify the source of its products and/or services to consumers, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities. A trademark is a type of intellectual property, and typically comprises a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standard categories.
The owner of a registered trademark may commence legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark. However, registration is not required. The owner of a common law trademark may also file suit, but an unregistered mark may be protectable only within the geographical area within which it has been used or in geographical areas into which it may be reasonably expected to expand.
The term trademark is also used informally to refer to any distinguishing attribute by which an individual is readily identified, such as the well known characteristics of celebrities. When a trademark is used in relation to services rather than products, it may sometimes be called a service mark, particularly in the United States.

=====================


Copyright is a set of exclusive rights that regulate the use of a particular expression of an idea or information. At its most general, it is literally "the rights to copy" an original creation. In most cases, these rights are of limited duration. The symbol for copyright is "©", and in some jurisdictions may alternatively be written as either (c) or (C).
Copyright may subsist in a wide range of creative, intellectual, or artistic forms or "works". These include poems, theses, plays, and other literary works, movies, choreographic works (dances, ballets, etc.), musical compositions, audio recordings, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, software, radio and television broadcasts of live and other performances, and, in some jurisdictions, industrial designs. Designs or industrial designs may have separate or overlapping laws applied to them in some jurisdictions. Copyright is one of the laws covered by the umbrella term intellectual property.

================

A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee for a fixed period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention.
The procedure for granting patents, the requirements placed on the patentee and the extent of the exclusive rights vary widely between countries according to national laws and international agreements. Typically, however, a patent application must include one or more claims defining the invention which must be new, inventive, and useful or industrially applicable. The exclusive right granted to a patentee in most countries is the right to prevent or exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the invention.
 
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sugar

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Nov 6, 2007
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Thanks for the replies. PhxMJ, you had mentioned that one of your sites was copied 6 times or something and that attorneys are expensive. So if ideas cannot be trademarked then who is to say that another clone of Facebook (as an example) can come along and try to do it better? Would there be no legal recourse for Facebook?
 

JScott

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Thanks for the replies. PhxMJ, you had mentioned that one of your sites was copied 6 times or something and that attorneys are expensive. So if ideas cannot be trademarked then who is to say that another clone of Facebook (as an example) can come along and try to do it better? Would there be no legal recourse for Facebook?
Correct, there would be no legal recourse, unless the new site stole Facebook content or proprietary designs.

Remember, Facebook wasn't the first site to do social networking. MySpace came before it, and there were actually dozens of sites before MySpace.

Just like Amazon.com is one of only a thousand sites that sells books on the web. And Google is one of ten thousand sites that does Internet search.

There is nothing illegal about copying a business model. And the site that does it best, and serves their customer's needs the most efficiently and effectively, will likely win out in the end.

If a better Facebook comes along, then Facebook didn't do their job well enough...
 

MJ DeMarco

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Thanks for the replies. PhxMJ, you had mentioned that one of your sites was copied 6 times or something and that attorneys are expensive. So if ideas cannot be trademarked then who is to say that another clone of Facebook (as an example) can come along and try to do it better? Would there be no legal recourse for Facebook?
In my case, I had people literally COPY my site, word-for-word, steal graphics (graphics that I designed) and in the worse case, hacked into my database server and stole data. In other cases, they took my own customer testimonials, WORD FOR WORD!

When you steal someone's website, their copy and their graphics, change the logo and think you're OK, you're wrong. My own customer's were being deceived and thought it was my own company's mirror. This is copyright infringement and I did pursue all of the cases until the guilty parties changed it all. Most of these sites are now dead with few, if any, customers. And yes, lawyers are expensive -- even the simple "cease and desist" letters add up the costs ... when you go further into legal action, the expenses go up very quickly.

Another person can imitate and clone Facebook at anytime assuming they don't steal proprietary technology (like a Facebook employee gets fired and takes internal software files to start his own.)

MJ
 

Jorge

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Oct 5, 2007
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I cant remember now where I read it but it was about two russian (i think) brothers who were millionares by simply making clones of famous sites like facebook, youtube, flickr, digg in other languages, targeting other markets.

In a more known case to me, there's one Web-Entrepreneur from my country who also makes this for the latins. Just look:

www.craiglist.com = www.olx.com
www.ebay.com = www.deremate.com
www.paypal.com = www.dineromail.com

Off course he doesnt clone the entire websites or technologies but he does copy the idea and business model wich I think is really ok, because if this sites didnt existed, latin america would be a web-forgotten place :p
 
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sugar

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Nov 6, 2007
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Sorry for the delay in returning a reply, but thanks to all who commented. I've had a very busy month.:cheers:
 

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