I recently read an article by a lawyer in which he stated that he was recommending all of his clients pull the plug on their Etsy stores because of thieves. Yes, thieves.
The lawyer went on to say that people would Trademark your slogan and then come after you, so basically, you should just give up and open your own store off of Etsy (and Amazon, EBay, etc) and accept that you’re getting 75% less income because eventually someone is going to steal your stuff anyway. Basically, give up visibility and income rather than fight for what’s yours.
To bad for you, right?
What this guy should have said is … Trademark the shizzle out of EVERYTHING.
I opened a test store on Etsy about a year and a half ago and within two weeks I had two people already taking my unique slogans. One of them immediately pulled their product when I asked them to take it down – and then put it back up a week later, apparently assuming I wouldn’t look to see if they were back at it. When I posted a screenshot on my IG calling them out for being thieves, they immediately messaged me with a “poor pitiful me, you’re ruining my reputation,” took it down again and then went silent after I removed the post about them.
It’s back up and selling on Etsy.
Why? Because people are crooks and they will take your baby if they can make $2.
When I owned an apparel company I came up with endless cute slogans and sayings for the industry. Today, almost three years after I sold out, those slogans are EVERYWHERE. People have taken them and ran with them. One of the most popular, my Lineman’s Prayer, has been duplicated endlessly. The hysterical part is that when I wrote it and put it on a poster, I used a combination of times and script fonts and people are so lame they couldn’t even come up with a new way to present it – they use the same times and script style to separate the lines of the prayer.
$2 people. It’s all it takes to make people go crooked.
So back to the lawyer…
What I can’t figure out is why this guy didn’t recommend that people Trademark them. I mean, wouldn’t he make more money filing the trademarks and then defending them?
I talked about Trademark squatters back in December. These people are real and apparently this lawyer has decided to encourage his clients to yield to (often) foreign squatters to save face.
I, however, have since decided that any new slogans I come up with will be Trademark and/or Copyright protected to the hilt.
Because it doesn’t matter in this day and age if you came up with it first. It’s all about who came up with the Benji’s to make it legal. Get the Trademark BEFORE you go live with your product. I am dead serious here. While you may think that this is an unnecessary expense (I know …What if it doesn’t sell? What if it doesn’t get popular?… is running through your head), you’ll be kicking yourself when you have copycats spread across Etsy, Amazon, Merch and a dozen other platforms who saw your unwillingness to protect yourself and took advantage – and then took a crowbar to your kneecap.
In the end, Etsy, Amazon and all of the other platforms aren’t going to have your back if you came up with it first. They are going to side with the person with the paperwork. Always.
And, in a day and age when you need to be on all of the platforms, it’s time to put in the cash to protect your shizzle and be prepared to defend it when Stacy’s mom, who no longer has it going on, thinks it’s cute and steals it.
Mama k – out.