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A Fly Idea, But Where to Begin?

JacyOnTheFlyJacyOnTheFly subscriber Posts: 1
edited April 2009 in Selecting a Business
Hello all.
Recently I designed a logo that I featured in a luggage tag. I am a flight attendant, so the tag is visible almost daily, and many coworkers have expressed interest in buying one like it.
I`m sure this is "small potatoes" for most of you, but I was hoping for some advice. I assume my design should be copyrighted, so I`ll need to figure out how to do that.
I can insert my logo into any luggage tag, but I just love the tag that I have. Even though the tag is a simple design (round, leather stitched, but instead of one vinyl window, there`s a window on both sides) I can`t find anything like it anywhere, and I have looked everywhere; stores, Web sites, manufacturers, wholesalers...hours spent doing this. I`m just going to have to have them made. How do I find a manufacturer for a quantity as small as I need?
I plan to start small--just with a few bag tags, then maybe have the logo printed on tote bags, lunch sacks, aprons, ID holders, and other items that flight attendants use at work. It`s a small market that I`m targeting, but I know flight attendants--they will buy it! Wannabe flight attendants and girls who like to travel will too.
So, I thank you for any advice and if you could recommend any books I should read on the subject, that would be great.
-Jacy...as ever...on the fly


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    patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    there may be some intellectual property there - see your attorney for details
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    StevenSStevenS subscriber Posts: 1
    It sounds like you have a great idea!
    I actually wouldn`t recommend you going out to get a patent right now. Even provisional patents can run into the thousands of dollars and it takes a great deal of time and energy to get a patent. And you will need an registered patent attorney or an agent.
    If I were you I would visit your local chamber of commerce and ask if you can sit in on a meeting. Talk to and network with some people who hire manufactures and ask around to find out if any of them can recommend a manufacturer that does piece work or low volume pieces. 
    If you are still interested going to patent route here is the website for the U.S. Patent Office.
    They also have a list of registered patent attorneys or agents who can help you obtain a patent.
    But like I said, I would test market it first and if it does well then start looking into  patent and other things.
    But this is just my opinion.
    Hope this helps.
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    bookloverbooklover subscriber Posts: 8 Member
    You cannot patent a logo.  You can trademark it, and you should talk to an attorney.  However, educate yourself as much as possible first by researching people or companies that have done what you want to do.
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    StevenSStevenS subscriber Posts: 1
    If you are talking about a patent then its much cheaper and easier to get. A patent is for a new invention and trademark are for words and designs. 
    If you have a new item then you would need a patent, if its a design or specific wording then you need a trademark. If its both then you will need both.
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    patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    If you "start marketing first" you will lose all ability for foreign patent rights and US rights eventually.  Dislosing before filing the patent application is the kiss of death.  There are non-lawyers on here who have no idea what they are talking about.
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    JacyOnTheFlyJacyOnTheFly subscriber Posts: 1
    The design(s) is my own, so I would need to trademark. Is that very involved?
    The luggage tag is what I`m on the hunt for. I need someone to manufacture the tags because I can`t find what I want, but I only need a small quantity. Like, very small. I would buy a handful off the rack if I could find them.

    Again, I am starting small at first--just a handful of tags to see if there`s a significant demand. Right now I`m just looking at it as a "hobby." Then I`ll go from there.
    Thank you all for your advice.
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    StevenSStevenS subscriber Posts: 1
    Wow. Is this the way SUNBassadors treat new people coming to post on their boards? Doesn`t seem very welcoming or friendly.
    But let me see if I have correct what you`re saying she should do. In your opinion, she should hold off even test marketing her product, and spend $100,000 or more applying for U.S. and "international" patents for a luggage tag??? That`s your best advice, really? Do you give advice to small business owners often?Because that doesn`t seem very smart or realistic in her situation.Here`s how I see it. The item she is talking about is a luggage tag. She may make a profit of $1-3 dollars at most on each one. How many would she have to sell to recoup her investment from applying for all of these patents you`re recommending?  Thousands? Milllions?I don`t want to get into a pissing contest with you or anyone on this board. And I really didn`t come here to make enemies. I was just a little offended when you said "There are some non-lawyers on here who do not know what they are talking about." Especially coming from a SUNBassador, I thought you guys were here to welcome people into a discussion.1. I do think I know what I`m talking about for her situation, and 2. I am not a "non-lawyer" if you were referring to me. But you are an expert on patent law. Please PM me in private if you want to continue this discussion. I do not want to argue with anyone on these boards in public..  
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    StevenSStevenS subscriber Posts: 1
    I would suggest you go to http://www.uspto.gov/web/trademarks/workflow/start.htmthis is the website for the U.S. patent and trademark office. There website is very helpful in showing you what you need to do to file for a trademark. You can file for a trademark online and during the process it ask you a lot of yes or no questions to get you through the process. You can even search their database to see if the trademark hasn`t already been taken. You can also electronically sign and pay for your trademark online. Even though the website is very thorough in explaining the process and the application. If there is anything you do not understand you should seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in that area of law. This is only my opinion. Others may not agree.stevens4/30/2009 5:33 PM
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    NeustanceNeustance subscriber Posts: 1
    I agree, if she wanted to build a solid income generating business then she would need to do a more in-depth study of the market and see the potential, but we are not talking about this here. She has an idea, and wants to see a product made. Now the potential and growth of the idea and product all depends on her willingness to dedicate time to it, or if she simply wants to start this new project and see how it goes on a local or online store structure.
    Now, the are plenty of ways you could outsource a small production launch from a factory overseas. You CAN make disclosure agreements with the factory if you really see  the possibility the factory is going to be interested in manufacturing the product to sell a no-name brand. There are all types of factories out there, and among them plenty of reputable and professional to choose from. You could definitely build a trustworthy -relationship- with one, you just have to take your time and choose carefully. Find one that you feel comfortable working with, offers good communication and has a good reputation and standing in the industry they target. I`ll be quite easy to negotiate, and look for a price range that fits your needs.
    If perhaps you want to develop this idea using electronics(a bit more complicated approach!) I`ll be glad to help you. I`m the USA sales manager of Wirelession Electronics, Ltd. a global electronics provider, design and development team. We combine engineering, manufacturing, supply and business insight in
    one place and offer the resources to introduce new products to the
    market effectively and cost efficiently.
    We would be glad to support you in the project beyond the manufacturing perspective and actually give you the resources to have this running for the benefit of both ends.
    If you have any questions or doubts feel free to send me a message, will be glad to help in any manner possible.
    Thanks and sorry for the huge reply, it turned out to be longer than I expected!
    Francisco Guerrero
    Sales Manager - USA
    Wirelession Electronics Ltd.
    W. www.wirelession.com
    Email: francisco@wirelession.com
    Skype: francisco.guerrero.svNeustance5/12/2009 1:55 PM
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