Hello readers, and members of the Heavy Metal Money Militia! As you may have noticed, I had taken a bit of a break in posting. This was really due to a couple things. One of which was finding the mental motivation due to the current Covid-19 Pandemic, and how I’m coping. State of mind hasn’t really been in a good place. It has been very hard to stay focused and positive. Another reason was regarding an interesting, little, trademark dispute. I’d like to share some of the craziness that has transpired.
Join me as we jump in to way back machine! Way back to April of 2019. I had finally made the decision to write, and start posting to a blog and share my middle-aged, divorced dad’s journey to financial Independence. I had been so inspired and motivated by so many others in the community. This was going to be real.
Let’s find a domain, and so began the search. A couple weeks of me combing over some options and words that describe me and my interests. Somehow, I’d like money or finance and music or heavy metal. Heavy Metal Money rolled off the tongue.
Upon some initial research, the .com domain, and the page on FB along with some social accounts were already parked. There wasn’t any actual content. It appeared to be incomplete, or something like a school project. So… let’s pivot. I knew we can have many new top-level domains. So I landed on heavymetal.money. AND A BLOG WAS BORN!
I had posted my first post on May 15th, 2019. My year anniversary post is on the way. We’ll talk about so much.
After several posts around October, I had noticed that the commercial domain had some edits, and included a contact email.
I reached out to the owner and explained, what I do and hope to do with heavymetal.money and had hoped to collaborate, or somehow work together.
Welp! I had received a reply that was pretty shocking, actually. This party, who is not located in the United States, claimed I was in violation of a trademark, and needed to cease and desist using heavymetal.money. Ummmmm… At first I was a bit panicked, but I did reach out to legal counsel, and discussed my options.
I can, obviously do nothing. I can rebrand. I can apply for my own trademark. AHHHH DECISIONS!
Good news, any filing is per country. So it doesn’t hold any ruling in the US. This also began the debate if I were to rebrand, or change the name. However…I had attended FinCon 2019, and I had so much positive feedback on my brand, my vision, and my story. I had great pride in what I was creating. I was determined to keep heavymetal.money.
I then decided to file for trademark in the United States. About $800 for the legal fees, trademark search, documentation and the actual filing costs with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The wait….. I waited about 3 months before it was assigned to a USPTO Patent and Trademark Attorney. I received notification I had not been granted the mark. Begin the sadness and despair spiral……. and goodbye to $800!
I had attempted a few times to contact the reviewing attorney, and the gentleman actually called me back, and was open to discussion.
He said that I am welcome to “fight” or debate the use case. Most likely hire an attorney to file a motion to approve the mark and argue the reasoning, and his ruling for not granting the mark. This USPTO attorney did say, I’m welcome to do this, however doesn’t believe it would make too much a difference. There were a couple reasons that he tried to explain:
- There is an existing USPTO Trademark for the mark “Heavy Metal”
- The word “money” is a generic term that would not be able to register
I had spent several minutes in discussion trying to explain, “we’d only be using the words Heavy Metal Money together, as well as positioning the purpose of my filing of On-line journals, namely, blogs featuring personal finance. He was empathetic, but in the end this attorney held the power.
There are many similar podcasts and blogs. Many that discuss the same topic. They could be about personal finance, entrepreneurship, productivity, fishing, or heavy metal and money! So many write for other blogs, interview other bloggers, are guests on each others’ podcasts, and so on and so on. Why can’t we all get along?
What have we learned? When we get knocked down… we get back up! We don’t get worn down. It’s challenging at times, but we GET BACK UP. We dust ourselves off, and keep going, or try again. I’m back to blogging. I have some amazing posts coming up. We are slightly changing the DBA, and Logo we are now The Heavy Metal Money Blog. The domain will stay heavymetal.money.
I thank you for all of you for your support, and following along in my journey.