Trademarks™, Copyrights©, & Registered Rights®
How Do These Apply to WOW?
Have you ever noticed those circled Cs and Rs or the TM letters used throughout references to the Women On Wheels® logo, tagline and Ride-In™? There is a reason for this; it lets our members and the public know that we have ownership in the use of these items and how they are displayed.
Three symbols that we see used everyday are © (copyright), ® (registered) and ™ (trademark). The difference between registered ® and trademark ™ is as follows: The symbol ® means that your words, phrases, symbols etc., have been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Illustration 2). The symbol ™ means basically the same thing except it not registered (Illustration 3 & 4). The words “Women On Wheels” have been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and WOW has substantial rights to protect that name and has made a substantial investment in those rights and it continues to cost a great deal of money in attorney fees to protect it.
What about our “girl on motorcycle” logo? Our logo is copyrighted and registered with the United States Copyright Office for proof of ownership (Illustration 1). Copyrights are different than Trademarks. Copyrights are a form of intellectual property that protects original works of authorship (that includes artistic works) and trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, etc. (identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others). Basically, the difference between ®, © and ™ is that if someone uses your registered ® name or © logo, you can collect monetary damages.
So how do we protect our registered trademarks and copyrights? When the words “Women On Wheels” appear on a document, poster, flyer, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, text message, bulletin boards, websites, merchandise or any form of public display, the ® symbol is to be used as shown in Illustration 2. When using the words Women On Wheels® the “O” in “On” must be capitalized. The words do not have to follow the same script font, but must include the registered trademark symbol.
Does an article have to incorporate the registered trademark ® symbol each time “Women On Wheels” is used? The easy answer is no; however, it is recommended that the registered trademark symbol ® be used in a heading or on the document’s title page, but it does not need to be written in the articles themselves. Women On Wheels® does not have registered rights to the acronym “WOW”, so the use of ® or ™ should not be used in this instance, only when the full name is used.
Prior to distributing flyers, procuring merchandise (T-Shirts, Hats, bandanas, etc.), making banners, business cards, designing a new logo, etc., if the words Women On Wheels® or the Women On Wheels® logo are used, a member or chapter must first obtain approval of the work from the Trademark Committee by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As shown in our Policies, Procedures and Programs Section 4, “If a chapter establishes a chapter bulletin board, list serve, email distribution, IM list, phone tree or other such chapter forum, A) It should not have “Women On Wheels®” within the name, if electronic, as it implies it is a nationally supported forum. B) It must be available to all active (paid-up/current WOW full membership) members of that chapter. In other words, no chapter can list their website as nameofstatewomenonwheels.org (KansasWomenOnWheels.org), but can be listed as ‘any chapter name of womenonwheels.org.’ (Ex: KansasWheathearts.org or KansasWheatheartsofWomenOnWheels.org). To ensure the best interest of our organization in using our trademark, contact the Trademark Committee of the Board of Trustees to review your website and publication before publishing. It is important to be mindful of the value of our registered name and protect it on all levels.
Other things to consider related to the use and protection of our organization’s name and logo:
• Part of the contract arrangement for a Participating Dealer is their ability to use the Women On Wheels® logo and name in their advertising and on their website. Be on the alert to improper use of our logo and report usage to email@example.com so the Trademark Committee can make contact with the dealer with a correction.
• Use the copyright symbol © with the full logo (girl on bike). The words “Women On Wheels®” may be used separately but the girl on bike, script and color must appear in its entirety.
• Use the Trademark symbol ™ with the words “Ride-In” (Illustration 4).
• Use the Trademark symbol ™ with our Tagline words “Ride.Discover.WOW” and separate each word only with a period (.) (Illustration 3).
Additionally, do not encourage infringement by requesting a vendor to paint, embroider, or otherwise emboss the logo name or insignia for you or others, as individuals, for a fee. In so doing, you are encouraging him to violate the law. This example, should he get away with it, encourages other vendors to do the same and soon a single incident has become a major problem. Any vendor who wishes to use the Women On Wheels® insignia and/or logo name must contact Women On Wheels® for a trademark license agreement. Please refer any questions regarding this license directly to the Trademark Committee by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be happy to work with any interested business, small or large.
We have been advised by trademark specialists, attorneys, and other professionals familiar with the field, that if we fail to protect our trademark by actively pursuing all incidents of infringement we could lose all rights to the words, “Women On Wheels.” As our organization grows, more and more people are aware of us, and an immediate association is made by many: Women On Wheels®= women motorcyclists. If we allow others to freely use our logo, it will be diluted.” It will lose its pure association with motorcycling; it will eventually be meaningless.
See page 22 of Magazine for illustrations.