Legal Blog

Saturday Side Hustle: The Pickle Adventure Continues!

 Pickles Jars On Supermarket Stand

Why don’t more pickles have catchy names or, at least, suggestive ones? Those of you who read this blog know that I get a kick out of trademarks, hence the question. I feel like people who launch into culinary ventures of any kind have to be somewhat creative, so I’m puzzled by the lack of amusement I get from the pickle aisle. Everything is descriptive: sweet or dill, spears or chips. Not much else. Don’t get me wrong, there are brand names, just nothing interesting.

This is why I have decided to name my pickles. I feel like having a name for the product itself and not just the company that makes it might distinguish them. I also think my recipe – spicy beer brine – gives them a unique character. The key to establishing a good trademark is to come up with something that is not merely descriptive of the product and have a product that has a distinctive characteristic that, when associated repeatedly with a unique name, helps establish a recognizable brand. That’s how I think about it. Maybe I should have gone into advertising or something.

I am originally from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and I always tell people that when it comes to my pickles, I like the brine to taste as much like seawater as possible (I say the same thing about martinis). That’s not really true, but a good homemade brine with some herbs and such floating around in it reminds me of low tide on the Bay. I guess I’m being nostalgic, but the salty sea air has something in common with pickles, and I want to capture that.

My father happens to be a long-retired U.S. Navy submariner, a boat captain and an aficionado of pickles. He also happens to be retired with nothing better to do, so I have decided to rope him into this venture and help me come up with a name. He also happens to be a pretty good artist so I’m asking him to come up with a logo or graphic to go with the name. Who better than a salty old seafarer to help out with this project?

I’m actually already pretty well set on a name, but I can’t share it just yet. After all, I’m an intellectual property lawyer and know I have to preserve my trademark rights. The U.S. Trademark Office lets you file applications to register trademarks you have a bona fide intention to use, but I don’t know how long it will take for me to actually make and sell any products, and the Office charges you fees for extensions of time to demonstrate commercial use if you try to register on this basis. As a business with no structure, products or income at this time, it just doesn’t make sense to apply yet, so I’m going to keep things secret for a while. Those of you who are clients may have received similar advice about something or another from me before).

For more information on this topic, please contact Scott Lloyd at slloyd@offitkurman.com.

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ABOUT SCOTT LLOYD

slloyd@offitkurman.com | 301.575.0357

Scott Lloyd is a registered patent attorney who specializes in intellectual property counseling and commercialization work. He has served as a technology commercialization specialist and advisor to companies in a diverse array of markets, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and beverage, specialty chemicals, technology, and engineering. In addition, Mr. Lloyd spent ten years as in-house general counsel to small and mid-sized companies, where he managed corporate matters and resolved commercial disputes in addition to intellectual property strategy, and now serves in the same capacity for entrepreneurial clients. He serves as counsel to small and mid-sized business owners seeking to implement growth strategies and succession plans.

While in house, Mr. Lloyd has also contributed to the successful formation of international affiliates of domestic businesses as well as a $400,000,000 business acquisition.

 

 

 

 

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