We brought Rich Goldstein and Priscilla Nunez on to talk about protecting our clubs and brands in Clubhouse. Before getting started it is imperative that I tell you, what you will read and hear on this session is NOT legal advice, it is an informal conversation with soft suggestions. Anything you hear or read here is for information and entertainment purposes and not legal advice or suggestions of actions you should take. Remember that our club gives to get and we are only offering education here.
Can You Trademark a Club on Clubhouse?
Most people first think of trademarking their Club on Clubhouse when trying to protect their Club. However, acquiring a trademark requires two distinct properties. Whatever you’re trying to trademark must be distinctive and you must be able to prove that you’re using the trademark in association with a product or service that you’re offering, referred to as a specimen. Both of these requirements can make it difficult to trademark a Club.
Let’s look at the first requirement of the trademark being distinctive. If your Club is only a descriptive name, that’s not considered distinctive. For example, you cannot trademark red licorice because it simply describes a product, but Coca-Cola can be trademarked since it’s a distinctive product and brand. However, if your Club name is distinctive, it may fulfill this requirement. You could also combine a distinctive name with a descriptive name, so you may be able to trademark the distinctive name but still have the descriptive name for SEO purposes.
As for the second requirement, you need to show the Trademark Office that the trademark is used in association with a product or service. This is typically shown by providing the label of a product, or a webpage or advertisement succinctly illustrating that the product or service is for sale. You might be able to fulfill this requirement with a website showing what your Clubs on Clubhouse offer with panel discussions. However, you might need to provide a specimen outside of Clubhouse that’s related to the trademark you’re attempting to acquire.
How Can You Protect Your Clubhouse Content?
Thankfully, protecting your content is far easier. In fact, you really don’t need to do anything to protect your content as it would be protected under copyright instead of a patent or trademark.
You do not need to register a copyright to have protection. Instead, copyright protection automatically occurs when the work is fixed in a tangible form. So, this means that as soon as content is written and fixed, it is under copyright protection. For a Clubhouse session, having the content fixed in a tangible form would mean that the session needs to be recorded in any format. However, if the session is not recorded, it is likely not copyrighted because any content recalled would be considered interpretation of ideas. So, to protect your Clubhouse content, make sure to record your sessions even if you do not upload them or share them. Simply recording it and saving it is usually sufficient for copyright protection.
It’s also important to note that copyright does not protect your ideas, but rather expression. Essentially, it protects how you frame the idea instead of the idea itself. So, the way you frame your ideas and explain them are protected, but the idea itself is not. This circles back around to why it’s recommended that you record your expression of your idea, tangibly.
We want to thank Rich and Priscilla for their time and contribution in continuing to educate and inspire entrepreneurs globally. We’re also so grateful to our listeners and moderators, for making our sessions on Clubhouse and with Serial Entrepreneur an exciting place to meet and collaborate. Please tune in next week for Scaling UP with best-selling author Vern Harnish, details and link in our Upcoming Events.