Don’t waste time, there is more to do!
For a couple of weeks, we anxiously checked the online market every day. We expected a manufacturer to see the brilliance of our idea and immediately offer us a fantastic deal to market the SeaClutch! After several more discussions with our account rep, we realized that this may be a longer process than we imagined. We also began thinking about the possibility of bringing the product to market ourselves.
While I have been referring to the SeaClutch by name, at this point we didn’t have one! We wanted an attractive logo with marketing appeal for promotional items like shirts and koozies. We also wanted a catchy name that went with the logo, and she began to look around for inspiration and design ideas.
While Lisa was working on the creative side of the project, I went back to the USPTO website to education myself on trademark and name protection. I have to say that they have an excellent site! There are a series of detailed instructional videos on a wide variety of topics, and if you have a specific topic you are interested in you can get additional information.
I learned that I could file the trademark myself and save myself attorney fees.
As I was learning the finer points of trademark protection, Lisa was getting inspiration for the logo. She decided that we needed a water-oriented theme to tie in with the marine focus of the product, and that we needed something that would stand out and be a work of art.
One afternoon she took her oldest daughter to the Sea Glass festival in St. Michaels Maryland. St. Michaels is a beautiful historic city that sits on a Chesapeake Bay tributary, and every year they hold this festival as a way to showcase local craftsman. Lisa returned from this trip inspired! Every year they produce a themed poster to commemorate the event, and this year the poster was an abstract painting of a mermaid.
She showed me the picture and said, “our logo will be a beautiful mermaid with colorful flowing hair, she will be holding a lady’s clutch in her hands and we are going to call our product the SeaClutch!” I thought it was awesome! I liked the symbolism of the mermaid holding the clutch the way or product would hold the important pictures of our customers. I also thought the name was catchy and would be excellent for marketing, and I could see t-shirts with this beautiful design on the back!
We were both excited! Lisa began to search the internet for mermaid ideas and I went to the USPTO to make sure I understood the requirements to trademark a logo and a name. I first searched to determine of anyone had trademarked the name “seaclutch” or any variation. I typed it in, held my breath and hit the “enter” button.
No one had! We could own this name!
I then researched the requirements for a logo. There are technicalities that I am sure my attorney friends would point out are important, but I came away with two specific items that I needed to have to get a logo approved; 1) original art 2) never used before in this context.
By then Lisa had researched the internet and had a design in mind. She wanted a beautiful mermaid that looked like she was floating in the water looking at you with her hair framing her face. The mermaid would be holding a “clutch” in both hands, she would be wearing seashells as the top of her bathing and she would be wearing a sea star as a necklace. Her bottom fins would be a similar color as her hair. I thought it was a fantastic idea!
Now I needed to find an artist.