Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby BaboonScience » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:27 pm

Recently, there has been discussion about the marketing of the offspring of Trademarked fish.
This is an important issue, very important. Many novice and smaller breeders are not aware that some Designer Fish (notably Clownfish) and other isolated species (notably Copepods) are trademarked. What does this mean? Should and how should you market your product, if is originated from a trademarked product.

Essentially, similar to a copyright, the owner holds exclusive rights to call their product by the trademark name. Even if your product is identical, you cannot use their trademark name. This is legally binding.

I am going to let further information and opinions come from those familiar with the issues.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby Suzy » Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:11 pm

I am really interested in this because i did not know you could trade mark a fish! or a pod! Is it the organism itself or the name?

So, if we have offspring, we can sell them, but we can't call them the trade marked name? I do know Ocean Rider had a written paper that shipped with their fish stating the offspring could not be sold. But that was years ago.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby Waldend » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:21 pm

As for selling the offspring of any fish- I thought that could only be restricted for genetically engineered fish such as the Glo Fish zebras.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby BaboonScience » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:37 pm

I think that you can sell them.
You just cannot use the trademark name, like Snowcasso or Platinum.
Personally, I feel it would be OK if you just stated that the fish were offspring from the trademark fish.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby vrado » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:43 pm

ORA has trademarked it's Brand name acronym "ORA" as has Sustainable with "SA", but the variety names, to my knowledge, have never been trademarked. I first maketed Picassos, Platinums, Nakeds, Midnights and other new varieties for ORA and now they are sold by Sustainable, Proaquatix, Doni Marie and a host of others. ORA never pursued enforcing a ban on using trademarked variety names because it was so widespread that the legal time and money that would cost simply wouldn't be worth it. The stategy became to quickly develop and market new strains that would take others about a year and a half to get the broodstock, get spawns, grow them out and to market. This would lead to over supply and the price would drop, so you would get about 18 months of top dollar before other breeders would take a market share. It's one reason we've seen so many designer species get on the market so quickly.

I think it s good idea to trademark a brand, but not variety names. No matter who first breeds them, THE NAME should remain constant through the industry. The first breeder gets naming rights, so to speak, but should face the reality that others will breed them no matter what and unless you have a team of lawyers and a lot of money that's the way its going to be.

There is a much bigger issue at stake here though, and that is that I do not believe that those who breed only designer species they did not develop themselves are not doing the industry, the hobby or the advancement of breeding one bit of good.In fact it's harmful. They are taking money from the research and development of larger hatcheries and academics that are far more likely to get new species to market. The money a hatchery may make, and it isn't all that lucrative, is vital to buying equipment, building hatcheries and paying biologists who will noy only breed new species, but will also get them to market. That's the only thing that counts.

If people want to see aquaculture one day replace wild caught, as I do, we should all buy the brands that will lead us to that future.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby jeff@zina.com » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:32 pm

Doni Marie now holds a trademark for the name Snowcasso(tm), and in another thread emphasized that the name cannot be used unless bred specifically by DoniMarie. I'm kind of in agreement that a naming convention has to be held for customers to understand it, but I understand the desire to trademark a specific name. But the consumer loses out. Kind of like a Vidalia onion versus a Texas sweet. Same exact onion, except it can't be called a Vidalia unless grown in Vidalia, Georgia. And Texas sweet onions are less expensive, thus less profitable.

For those that are interested...

Trademark Search: http://tess2.uspto.gov/
Trademark Basics: http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/index.jsp

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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby Suzy » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:03 pm

Vrado, you worked for ORA?

I am very glad to meet you!

I would buy ORA or SA over others but I rarely see them marketed as such at out local fish stores. I know the owners well, so they will tell me if I ask. But, would it help if consumers knew which fish were ORA, ect?
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby rrcg50 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:16 pm

i was the first to make the mistake of calling my fish the snocassos.i started breeding them several months before the patent, at the time i did not know. my parents were actually brought from doni as snowcassos(tm). the name patent only pertains to the exact name. if someone want to be a idiot then they can call there fish snocassos and there is not a thing that can be done unless she trade marks that name.
i plan on breeding my pair of snowcassos(that were purchased from doni) and calling them something different. truthfully the clowns that are being offered as such recently to us here in the states would not of been snowcassos(tm) 2 plus years ago.
i speak to a few breeders on a weekly basis and some people on this site own my fish, i take great pride in what i have accomplished but do not want to stop there. ultimately we all want to be able to put less stress on the oceans buy aquaculturing as many species as we can. i am currently working on several strains of gobies and wrasses. will i ever be successful,who knows? will i go after someone who sells one of my Bad Ass clowns offspring? no because the best advertisement is word of mouth. i want that name on everyones tongue. i think it was poor form to name a fish that came from another breeding house and try to call it your own. i think ora, tmz, sa, and c-quest had the right idea. get it out there and get it out there first, people will follow because of word of mouth. rods onyx have no problem selling and hes been doing this for years.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby Woodstock » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:57 am

Hummm.. were to begin... Let's start with the basics:
http://www.evancarmichael.com/Legal/211 ... emark.html

""What Is A Trademark? A trademark is any combination of a word, name, symbol, or device that distinguishes the goods of one person from goods manufactured or sold by others.
Why Do You Need One? The world is competitive enough. Why let someone take what you have worked so hard to build, when there is a remedy to prevent them from doing it? A trademark will be able to help you protect and brand your business without having to worry about competitors using and diluting your brand""

Although other breeding organizations decided not to TM their products, I did. I wanted to protect something that I created. Although expensive, trademarking provided the tool for me to do that. Thinking long term and hoping for success in my product, I wanted to keep exclusive rights to the name "Snowcasso" brand name for my percula offspring that display extreme amount of white yet not solid white. People have been trademarking logos and words for a very long time. I'm certianly not the first. The decision to do so was difficult but I am still glad I did.

those who breed only designer species they did not develop themselves are not doing the industry, the hobby or the advancement of breeding one bit of good.In fact it's harmful. They are taking money from the research and development of larger hatcheries and academics that are far more likely to get new species to market. The money a hatchery may make, and it isn't all that lucrative, is vital to buying equipment, building hatcheries and paying biologists who will noy only breed new species, but will also get them to market. That's the only thing that counts.


I am certainly in awe of ORA's accomplishments and think your establishment rocks!! However, I disagree with the above statement. ANY person or establishment that chooses to breed and raise quality fish (no matter what type) is performing a very important task in relieving the demand of wild caught specimens. Period. Many home-hatcheries branch out and breed/raise several different specimens (myself included). That will always be a very good thing.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby Woodstock » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:58 am

rrcg50 wrote:i was the first to make the mistake of calling my fish the snocassos.i started breeding them several months before the patent, at the time i did not know. my parents were actually brought from doni as snowcassos(tm). the name patent only pertains to the exact name. if someone want to be a idiot then they can call there fish snocassos and there is not a thing that can be done unless she trade marks that name.
i plan on breeding my pair of snowcassos(that were purchased from doni) and calling them something different. truthfully the clowns that are being offered as such recently to us here in the states would not of been snowcassos(tm) 2 plus years ago.
i speak to a few breeders on a weekly basis and some people on this site own my fish, i take great pride in what i have accomplished but do not want to stop there. ultimately we all want to be able to put less stress on the oceans buy aquaculturing as many species as we can. i am currently working on several strains of gobies and wrasses. will i ever be successful,who knows? will i go after someone who sells one of my Bad *A-- clowns offspring? no because the best advertisement is word of mouth. i want that name on everyones tongue. i think it was poor form to name a fish that came from another breeding house and try to call it your own. i think ora, tmz, sa, and c-quest had the right idea. get it out there and get it out there first, people will follow because of word of mouth. rods onyx have no problem selling and hes been doing this for years.


You are incorrect. Please see below a copy of my response to your post in "Marketplace" forum.

rrcg50 wrote:a respondant said , which was i, that i have snocassos, not snowcassos(tm) please read before the accusations become apparent.


woodstock wrote:I understand one letter was removed and to help explain the problem, please read about TM infringement.
http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jom/ma ... -9610.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark_infringement
Please PM me with any questions.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby BaboonScience » Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:21 am

Thank you all for some great initial insight.
Here is what i get from this so far.
1: Trademark is a means of protecting the trade name of a specific product from a specific vendor or sanctioned subsidiaries (Franchise?)
2: There are differing ideas about the significance (Usefulness) of a trademark on a specific product. Some use it, some do not.
3: To skirt Trademark law, you cannot just leave out a letter or something, your product must have a unique name. This one in particular is interesting. I remember Bandaid vs Bandaide. The trademark won. Kleenex Vs Kleanex
4: There is potential for name confusion if the market is flooded with similar products, all with different names.
5: Many people are not well informed about trade law before they jump into the breeding business.

Please keep it coming but, this is a topic that appears to have opinions. That means the potential for heated debates. The objective is to provide information about you various opinions. I thank you for keeping this valuable discussion civil.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby DeAngelr » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:19 pm

So call it Snocasso instead of Snowcasso... and your all set?


I don't think it is a good use of energy to try and trademark names.. I mean the pattern that produces the "Snowcasso" (mostly white but not wall white, as described) has appeared from several different breeders. The "breed" or morph should have a uniform name IMO.. Its not like there are massive breeding facilities out there using the name snowcasso.. Mostly just basement facilities and such.. Too many independent breeders to regulate.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby Amie » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:41 pm

I am really glad I read this thread today. I had someone ask me a few days ago if I would raise some snowcassos if he bought them, then we would split the return on selling them. I was considering it, but I had no idea the name was Trademarked, I won't consider it now. It is definitely the name that sells, there is no reason to raise them if you can't use the name.

It doesn't bother me that people Trademark a name...more power to them. The only thing that does bother me, is that their true name gets lost. In otherwords, it would be nice to know the genus of the fish, but the fancy name gets used instead.

I have Rod's clowns and I have clowns that I raised from a female perc and a male osc. I can't tell them apart based on their markings. It just presents a strange conundrum to me.

I agree with Vince about riding the wave: get in, get out and move on. Even with a trademark name, I would think that the price is going to peak and then come down and level out. They say it is the same with new inventions. You can spend $5,000-$10,000 on the patent, or make your money the first year or two and move on to the next project. I guess it depends on the person and how you want to 'play the game'. If you can release the emotional attachment, it might be to your advantage. Ever watch that show Shark Tank?

DeAngelr wrote:So call it Snocasso instead of Snowcasso... and your all set?


I don't think you can do that. That is the point of a Trademark.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby Suzy » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:11 pm

So, how would this work with our cultures? I have grown rotifers bought from who knows where years ago. Obviously, I can sell those. But, can I sell other things if I use their Latin name, and not the trademark name?
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby BaboonScience » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:00 am

I believe that the Trademark only refers to the Trade Name.
That means that you Can culture Rotifers but you cannot sell them using some Vendors Trade Name (Brand Name) for their rotifers. That is the no no.
In the same manner, you can purchase a pair of ORA Platinum and sell their offspring as Platinum Clowns, Just not ORA Platinum clowns.
That is what I am getting from this.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby Amie » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:54 am

Suzy wrote:So, how would this work with our cultures? I have grown rotifers bought from who knows where years ago. Obviously, I can sell those. But, can I sell other things if I use their Latin name, and not the trademark name?


It's like the name Tigger-Pods. That is a trademark name for the Tigriopus califoricus copepods that Reed Mariculture sells. If you go and harvest Tigriopus califoricus from the ocean, you wouldn't have Tigger-Pods, you would have Tigriopus califoricus, but it would be the same copepod...I think. :|
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby Ohiocatfish » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:12 am

I think this thread is super interesting:-) I've always wondered if say twenty breeders all started selling snowcassos...what kind of legal money would be needed to pursue all of the infringments? And then how would a breeder be able to keep tabs and enforce it? Not to mention the time and headache of court>.<

As another side note has anyone heard about the great successes Ocean Rider has had lately?
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby Suzy » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:42 am

I haven't. What is up at Ocean Rider?
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby John V » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:21 am

Interesting discussion topic. I believe you are correct that a trademarked fish still allows you to breed and sell the fish, it's just that you can't call the fish by the trademark name. One area that hasn't been discussed is a patent on a fish that's unique. Much like plant or seed producers patent a plant or seed. Once the patent has been approved, you can't breed it and sell the offspring. Patents aren't cheap, the application fee is only the beginning.... expect $10K plus to complete. The economic return is highest for 'first to market' so waiting for a patent approval may not be best. All depends upon the cost/benefit. Also, during the patent pending period a competitor can compete against the product because the patent hasn't been issued. Saturating the market before others have breeders may be the best approach.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby jeff@zina.com » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:49 am

There seems to be a slight misconception about trademarks. Trademarks (generally, there are always exceptions) apply to a specific product or product line or trade name. They are designed to prevent any confusion among consumers as to specific brands of an item, not to limit the production of that item. Many manufactures produce bathroom tissues. Only one can be Kleenex. Chlorine bleach is available under dozens of different brands, only one is Clorox. And so on.

Extreme white patches in Picasso-style clowns appear in the offspring of many breeders, there is only one Snowcasso. Trade marks (or Trade Names) also protect for confusion among similar products. It would normally be fine to produce Snowcasso Tennis Rackets. No one will confuse them as clown fish. It would not be okay to produce Snocasso, Snowkasso or Snorecasso clown fish since they could easily be mistaken as a Snocasso clown fish.

The normal problem comes when the public starts to refer to like brands under the trademarked name. If the company doesn't aggressively defend these errors, intentional or otherwise, then they can lose the Trade Mark to general usage. This actually happened to Kleenex and almost happened to Caterpiller with their line of bulldozers. All this is very lucrative for law firms, very expensive for everyone else. But brand identity is everything, one of the reasons no waiter is allowed to serve you a Pepsi if you ask for a Coke. If you ask for a "cola product" then you can get anything. :)

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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby valentinesr » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:10 am

vrado wrote:If people want to see aquaculture one day replace wild caught, as I do, we should all buy the brands that will lead us to that future.


True.. Hey Vrado.. Did you use to own a 1954 VW?
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby BaboonScience » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:28 am

jeff@zina.com wrote:Extreme white patches in Picasso-style clowns appear in the offspring of many breeders, there is only one Snowcasso. Trade marks (or Trade Names) also protect for confusion among similar products. It would normally be fine to produce Snowcasso Tennis Rackets. No one will confuse them as clown fish. It would not be okay to produce Snocasso, Snowkasso or Snorecasso clown fish since they could easily be mistaken as a Snocasso clown fish.


That is my take as well. At least unless the trade name is intended to market a wide variety of products. Market Nemo anything and you might be seeing the Man. But outside of a mass marketing, I agree.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby vrado » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:43 am

Yes. I do work for ORA and I love the fact that we have been able to introduce more newly aquacultured species to the market than any other company. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then I suppose ORA is the most admired in the field. I often would joke at work that we should re-name it the ORA Broodstock supply company. It got out of hand when many internet and retailers would use the name ORA when selling items that were clearly not produced at ORA. That is why we copyrighted and trademarked the acronym "ORA".
I was in the broodstock room yesterday, and you will not believe the cool new varieties that will be soon be on the market. I feel certain that as soon as they're released breeders will scramble to get thier hands on them and the cycle will go on. Years of careful breeding work will be handed to all breeders for the cost of a pair. Is that un-ethical or just plain american capitalism at work? It's a great question for debate, I don't pretend to have the answer.

For the person who left a voicemail message for me, No, I don't own a volkswagen, and never have. You got me mixed up with another vrado.
Got to go to work now and ship ORA products to the world.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby Suzy » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:55 am

As a common hobbyists and wanna-be breeder, I have been in awe of ORA for years, and a loyal customer. I have never bought brood stock from them, just an occasional fish over the years. It is an amazing company.

As far as home breeders taking away business from ORA, I know it could happen, but I think it would be on a very small scale, at least in my area. It takes so much effort, time, room and dedication that there are so few people who do it. Our inland city has many, many hobbyists but only a handful of home breeders. We do have quite a few people who chop up a coral and glue the pieces to rocks and sell them on our local classified website (bigger than Craigs list or Ebay in our state), but they do not last very long.

ORA will be an icon in my eyes forever.
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Re: Marketing and Trademarks, What do they mean.

Postby Suzy » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:26 am

Just skimming the www. Marketing and Trademarks mean $$$$. $950 bucks for a fish? Think this is just hype or would people really pay it, have they actually sold any? And, think they have a white seahorse with an orange face?

http://www.seahorse.com/shop/index.php? ... ucts_id=26
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