Entrepreneur Media Tangles again with Scott Smith–Another Chapter in a Long Relationship

By Bryan Wassel
10/30/2007

THIS STORY HAS SINCE BEEN UPDATED.  THE COMPLETE STORY CAN BE FOUND HERE.

Scott Smith, president of BizStarz, has filed a notice of opposition against Entrepreneur Media, Inc., publisher of Entrepreneur magazine, for defrauding the US Patent Office, claiming its trademark of the word “entrepreneur” for purposes of “radio and television programs” and “pre-recorded audio and video,” are not legal due to the word being too generic and commonly used.

This comes while Entrepreneur Media is in the process serving suit to The Wall Street Journal over its Entrepreneur Channel, a Web site for small business information, on the grounds that consumers may mistake the content from the Entrepreneur Channel as being approved and developed by Entrepreneur magazine. The two companies had an agreement where The Wall Street Journal’s Web site was allowed to include Entrepreneur magazine material, but the partnership ended last year. More information about WSJ/Entrepreneur disagreement can be found here (Bloomberg).

Smith himself has previously dealt with Entrepreneur Media’s trademark, when his firm EntrepreneurPR was forced to rename (to BizStarz) in 2000 and then again in 2003.

Smith is filing complaint on the basis that a third party may petition to cancel a registered service mark on the grounds that the registration was obtained fraudulently. He cites Torres v. Cantine Torrsella, in his complaint, a Federal Circuit case in 1986.

In the past decade, Entrepreneur Media has fought about 40 trademark battles. These included causing the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University to change the name of its newsletter (they did so after a warning letter), and Ernst & Young, which actually forced Entrepreneur Media to back off after they threatened Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Magazine.

Time, another common word that is also the title of a popular magazine, is not trademarked.  Go to the US Patent Office’s trademark search page to search for other trademarked words.

Smith’s notice of opposition, which he wrote himself without the help of legal counsel, can be found at http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?qs=91180276.

And here’s more detailed information on the "Entrepreneur" trademark at the USPO Web site.

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