(Just answer questions) Read the “Incident” at the beginning of Chapter 14 for EspressO, and then answer the following questions on the discussion board: Can Alexander patent his couplers and suspension system? What steps should he take to protect his marks? Can his catch phrase be trademarked? Will he have a serious copyright problem with his art school buddy? Why?
Alexander is starting up a new mobile sales franchise, offering a unique and popular line of espresso-based drinks and frozen confections. Since creating his first service vehicle-placing a simple operations kiosk on the back of a converted classic roadster through the use of four conversion couplers and a spring suspension system, all of which he invented- he has had much success with the sales at air shows, community fairs, and high foot-traffic locations around his metropolitan location. Alexander now has three vehicles in full-time operation and has recently been approached by five separate investors who want to buy franchises from him to build a similar mobile business.
Alexander named his business:
Express O, On The Go
and has painted the name on the side of his vehicles and had cups printed showing the name as his service mark. He also asked a buddy in art school to design a logo- a mug with a cartoon smiley face on speeding wheels-and has reproduced the colorful design on his vehicles and cups.
He is thinking about using the phrase:
*****Jump-Start Your Heart******
as a catch phrase under the logo because he thinks it is clever and his customers seem to respond to it with a smile. A customer who is a lawyer urged Alexander to register his trademarks with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. He is concerned about the rules surrounding trademark use and licensing as he begins to franchise the operation. Alexander is also concerned because his designing buddy recently mentioned that he still owns the copyright on his speeding mug design and should be receiving a royalty from Express O, On The Go. Alexander wants to find out whether he can patent his couplers and suspension system, what steps he should take to protect his marks, whether his catch phrase can be trademark, and whether he is going to have a serious copyright problem with his art school buddy.
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