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Entrepreneur Sues Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur-Legal-Guide

At the beginning of this year, I decided to start publishing my own monthly magazine.  It would feature Expert Interviews, Book Reviews and other articles and content to help entrepreneurs achieve success.

Having come up with the concept, all that was left was to pick a name for my magazine.

I’m very familiar with both “Entrepreneur” magazine and “Success” magazine, but I’ve never heard of “Entrepreneur Success” magazine.  A Google search revealed that no magazine exists with that title, so I figured I was home-free (although I was amazed that a magazine with that name didn’t already exist).

A business associate of mine recommended I have an attorney conduct a trademark search — but I was convinced that since “Entrepreneur Success” magazine couldn’t be found anywhere on Google, it must be available for my use.

Oops.

In my “ignorance is bliss” state of mind, I proceeded to have hundreds of copies of my inaugural issue of “Entrepreneur Success” magazine printed and readied for mailing.  I took a few dozen with me to Florida a couple of weeks ago to give out to leading entrepreneurs and marketing experts like Dan Kennedy, Rich Schefren and others at two events I attended.

Entrepreneur Success

And then it happened…

One top marketer I proudly handed my magazine to took one look at my chosen title and instantly started shaking his head.  He suggested I check out articles like these…

Entrepreneur Magazine’s History Of Suing Entrepreneurs For Using …

www.iaweo.com9/25/12

Trademarking the word “entrepreneur” seems particularly ridiculous, and BusinessWeek recently ran an excellent article detailing Entrepreneur Magazine’s history of suing entrepreneurs for using the word entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur magazine sues another for using … – Talking Biz News

www.talkingbiznews.com2/29/12

Michael del Castillo writes for Portfolio.com that Entrepreneur magazine is suing another magazine called CEO Entrepreneur Magazine for using the word entrepreneur. Del Castillo writes, “From EMI’s perspective though, the

Entrepreneur Magazine Sues an Entrepreneur » Center for Ethics …

www.ethicsandentrepreneurship.org8/15/11

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. is suing Daniel R. Castro for using the domain name “EntrepreneurOlogy.com.” According to Entrepreneur Media’s lawyers, his clients hold the trademark on the word “entrepreneur.” Read Paul M.

Entrepreneur, the Magazine That Sues Entrepreneurs | Accounting …

bjconquest.com5/21/11

Everyone, read this…it is off the charts! Did you know the word “entrepreneur” is trademarked? Neither did I or did most I will assume. “The curious case of Entrepreneur Media Inc., which never rests in its quest to nurture—and …

Entrepreneur MEntrepreneur Media continues to sue entrepreneurs who use the …

domainnamewire.com7/3/12

Got ‘entrepreneur‘ in your name? If you publish information to help entrepreneurs, you might be sued. Entrepreneur Media (EMI), the company that publishes Entrepreneur magazine, continues to file lawsuits against people …

PenPoint Group – 5 reasons the word “entrepreneur” is all wrong

penpointgroup.com7/15/11

It’s just begging for a lawsuit. This is where things get serious. As BusinessWeek reported recently, EMI, the company behind Entrepreneur magazine, has a history of suing entrepreneurs who use its trademarked (!) term.

Entrepreneur Magazine Has Trademarked The Word “Entrepreneur…

www.businessinsider.com  5/20/11

Entrepreneur Magazine has a trademark on the word “entrepreneur,” and is suing some businesses that use it. In 1979, Entrepreneur’s founder, Chase Revel, got a U.S. trademark for the word “entrepreneur.” Since then he …

Entrepreneur Magazine a Trademark Bully… to Entrepreneurs…

tacticalip.com5/28/11

It seems as though Entrepreneur Magazine, which publishes a magazine geared towards the interests of, wait for it, wait for it – entrepreneurs, is suing entrepreneurs for trademark infringement. As I was initially reading the …

That was enough for me.  I immediately changed the name of my magazine.

You can check out the inaugural issue of my “Money-Making Monthly” magazine here.

Money Making Monthly

Oh — and yes, I had an attorney do a trademark search for that name, and it’s in now the process of being registered.

What do you think?

Does it make sense for anyone to own a trademark on the word “entrepreneur”?

Do you think it’s right for the publishers of “Entrepreneur” magazine to have a habit of suing entrepreneurs?

Does any of this change your opinion of Entrepreneur magazine?

13 Responses to Entrepreneur Sues Entrepreneurs

  1. John Reply

    February 27, 2013 at 11:28 am

    great post here steve

  2. Mary Reply

    February 27, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Maybe their subscription numbers are falling, so they are resorting to biting the hands that feed them.
    Ridiculous!!
    Thanks for opening this entrepreneurs eyes!
    Once again great blog post.

  3. Michael J. Brankin Reply

    February 27, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Surprised at the article. Wont be buying entrepreneur magazine again. I do plan to sign up for yours though. But what about an acronym for a title? Like C.O.R.E (Creative outreach for rich entrepreneurs) or S.A.F.E (Sharing A Free Enterprise)?

    I know both of these are weak, but you get the idea. Might be more fun and you would have something to build a marketing piece around. Like google, yahoo, the chive, e-bay, twitter,the onion…all catchy one or two words that instantly have recognition. I’m afraid your title will get lost in ambiguity.

    A fellow business innovator (formerly known as entrepreneur)
    Michael J. Brankin

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      February 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      Thanks, Michael.

      I’m not afraid of the title getting “lost in ambiguity”. My clients and followers are pretty clear on the bottom-line concept for all businesses: Making Money.

  4. Jim Broline Reply

    February 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    I don’t get it Steve. What are you crying and balling about? If you could trademark “entrepreneur”, you would. And don’t deny it.

    This is very different than my disdain for for GKIC’s denial of their deal with you. I will never trust GKIC again. As Kevin Costner said today, “a deal is a deal” but that is a different subject. Or is it? The government granted “entrepreneur” a trademark and that is a deal.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      February 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Jim: Does it seem like I’m “crying and balling”? Why would I be?

      I’m merely pointing out the mistake I made by not being aware of (or even conceiving of the possibility of) the fact that someone had trademarked the word “entreprenuer.”

      Would I do it if I could? Of course I would.

      But do I think that any court in the world should have granted a trademark to such a commonly-used word? That’s completely absurd, in my opinion.

      And what the heck does this have to do with GKIC???

      • Jim Broline Reply

        February 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm

        I’ve got rocks in my head.

        I apologize. My post did not, at all, read what I was thinking. Additionally, what I was thinking was also wrong.

        Your post was researched and generic.

        I am impressed that you had the confidence to allow my post to be seen. Maybe you should remove it.

        • Steve Sipress Reply

          February 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm

          Take it easy on yourself, Jim.

          I appreciate your contribution to the discussion!

  5. Henry Reply

    February 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Magazine: Big thumbs up.

    Name: Big thumbs WAY down. Sounds like a Biz Opp mag.

    • Steve Sipress Reply

      February 28, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      I love your irony, Henry.

      “Entrepreneur” and “Success” magazines are actually filled with ads for “Biz Opp’s” — or “business opportunities”.

      My magazine, however, teaches those who already own businesses how to make more money with the one they already own.

      Since you don’t like the name, do you have any other suggestions?

      And please don’t suggest names like “Amazon” or “Google” or “Apple” or “eBay” that say nothing at all about what they’re all about. With names like those, I doubt any of those companies will ever be successful.

      • Henry Alegria Reply

        February 28, 2013 at 11:35 pm

        Have a title naming contest.

        • Steve Sipress Reply

          March 1, 2013 at 12:18 am

          I vote for “Entrepreneur Success.”

          Oh. That’s right.

  6. Ricardo Yocum Reply

    May 4, 2013 at 5:28 am

    An entrepreneur is an economic agent who unites all means of production- land of one, the labour of another and the capital of yet another and thus produces a product. By selling the product in the market he pays rent of land, wages to labour, interest on capital and what remains is his profit. He shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield.;”

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