Bill Hartzer

Trademark Filing Changed Based on Bad Keyword Advice

An interesting trademark filing has been done by a company owner who originally got bad advice. Specifically, this website owner claims that they got bad keyword advice from Trademark.com and LegalZoom.com. They had originally advised the company owner to insert keywords into the name of the trademark such as Best Flavored Funnel Cakes in the World rather than the company name, which is Carnival Food Year Round.

Here is a copy of the comment left on the USPTO website regarding the trademark filing:

NEW SERIAL NUMBER 86549187 OLD SERIAL NUMBER 85002854 CORRECT NAME IS CARNIVAL FOOD YEAR ROUND NOT BEST FLAVORED FUNNEL CAKES IN THE WORLD THE CSR ON THE USPTO.GOV WEBSITE TOLD ME YOU MAY CORRECT EVERYTHING ONCE YOU READ MY MESSAGE. THIS WAS MY FIRST TIME FILING THIS FORM BY MYSELF BECAUSE TRADEMARK.COM AND LEGAL ZOOM.COM TOOK OVER $1500.00 FROM ME OVER THE PASS 3 YEARS I WAS NEVER ABLE TO FIND A COMPANY TO TRADEMARK MY COMPANY NAME WITHOUT TAKING MY MONEY AND LYING LIKE THEY WOULD DO THE WHOLE PROCESS. I WATCHED THE USPTO.GOV VIDEO BEFORE I FILLED OUT THE FORMS BUT THE LADY IN THE VIDEO SAID PICK THE BEST KEYWORDS THAT WOULD MAKE YOUR COMPANY STAND OUT AND THAT’S WHY I PUT BEST FUNNEL CAKES BECAUSE THAT’S NORMALLY WHAT PEOPLE SEARCHES ON GOOGLE. I WASN’T TRYING TO PUT THAT FOR THE MARK NAME. I’M VERY SORRY ABOUT MESSING THAT PART UP AND I WOULD LIKE TO CORRECT MY NAME BACK TO WHAT MY OLD SERIAL NUMBER NAME USE TO BE WITH MY NEW SERIAL NUMBER. THANKS FOR UNDERSTANDING. LYNETTE HILL DBA CARNIVAL FOOD YEAR ROUND

According to the filing by Lynette Hill, Trademark.com and LegalZoom.com has taken over $1500 of her money over the past 3 years. She was never able to find a company to trademark her company name “without taking my money and lying like they would do the whole process”. She apparently watched the USPTO.Gov video before she filled out the forms. But the lady in the video said to pick your best keywords that would make your company stand out. That’s why Ms. Hill put “best funnel cakes” in the name, because that’s what people search for on Google.

Now, she wishes to correct the name.

I’m confused as to whether or not the USPTO.Gov video suggested that Lynette Hill use the best keywords, or whether or not that was Trademark.com and LegalZoom.com who suggested that she use those keywords in the filing.

When it comes to choosing a company name, especially for your trademark, certainly the proper keyword research is recommended, but I’m not sure if “best flavored funnel cakes in the world” is the best keyword in this case.

According to SEMrush.com, there’s no data found for “best flavored funnel cakes in the world”.

Picking a trademark is a difficult task, and not something that you should take lightly. It involves a professional, and I don’t recommend using the advice of a service such as Trademark.com or LegalZoom.com to make your decision. Certainly those services could be useful if you have already decided on a mark, and have already done your due diligence on the word. Those could be time-savers if you already are familiar with the process and just need someone to file the trademark for you.

Hat Tip to John Berryhill for pointing this trademark application out.

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