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I Am A Registered

There are new ways to make money in America and I’m so excited I can’t wait to weigh my

Mark S. Levit


For example, Minnesota’s famous wrestler/governor Jesse Ventura, has trademarked his name and likeness. I’ll watch closely to learn how he monetizes his intellectual property.

Another example, Viacom’s cable network TNN, recently changed its programming to appeal to men, a demographic valued by advertisers. Viacom announced TNN would assume the nickname "Spike," a memorable moniker that management probably felt sounded male, but not too macho.

Without pause, movie director Spike Lee brought suit against Viacom alleging TNN was capitalizing on his name. Lee wanted a lot of money for use of his name.

Realizing that sizeable legal fees would be incurred to defend the case, Viacom simply decided not to adopt the name. But if Spike Lee would have won the suit, he’d have made millions!

And now Avon’s introduced a new cosmetic line called "Mark." I’m going to sue. How can Avon justify capitalizing on my famous name and flawless reputation?

That got me thinking about how many times a day millions of Americans use my name:

  • "Quick off the Mark."
  • "Mark time."
  • "Mark it down."
  • "On your Mark, get set, go!"

Ever use any phrases like those? Well, tally them up, you’ll soon owe me royalties.

I’m going to trademark my name. Mark™. Nobody will be able to use my name without paying.

I’ll be reasonable about it. Here are my proposed royalty fees:

  • "Mark™" used verbally or in a note to a nuclear family member: $.03
  • "Mark™" used verbally or in a note to an extended family member: $.04
  • "Mark™" used in a public setting among friends or acquaintances: $.05
  • "Mark™" used for any commercial purpose: $.06
  • Fee for uses not listed above: Quoted upon request.

I’ll have to find a way to monitor use of my name, "Mark™".

First, I plan to not grant permission for others to use the name. All persons currently sharing my name will be required to change their names�or face aggressive litigation. I’ll have to protect my intellectual property.

In addition, I’ll trademark some ancillary "products" to enhance my revenue stream. Those products include, but are not limited to:

  • The Question Mark (?)™
  • The Beauty Mark™
  • The Book Mark™

I’ve not established usage fees for my portfolio of ancillary products yet, but since they’re more robust than my basic product, I’m thinking about making them premium priced.

I’ll have to establish a method for reporting and payment, too. Perhaps I’ll require corporations and self-employed people to pay quarterly�and individuals to pay annually.

I understand this will require development of a large organization for payment processing�not to mention an enforcement division for corporations and individuals who don’t comply.

I’ll call it the Mark™ Revenue Service, or MRS.

That’s it. That’s my plan. Is that how it’s done, Spike™?

Need out-of-the-box marketing ideas? Call me, Mark Levit,
at 212.696.1200.

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