Hello, Friend! I’m Morgan Reece, author, homeschool mom, and unexpected advocate for creatives. So glad you stopped by! I value your time, so here’s a quick intro to what you’ll find on this site:

Frivolous Trademarks 101

My current passion project is focused on ending frivolous trademarks in the print-on-demand industry, but with a twist: I want to teach other newbies like me what I’ve learned about trademarks so they can choose a brand name for keeps, avoid wasting gobs of money filing applications that will be refused, and set systems in place to protect their brand(s) and creative content. 

For most of 2018, I worked (with many others) to learn the USPTO Letter of Protest system. It’s a free tool to fight frivolous trademarks. 

define: frivolous trademark 

What is a frivolous trademark? The term was coined by others in the Merch By Amazon community. It refers to applications to register popular T-shirt slogans or keywords as “brands.”

For example, if you see “Best Mom Ever” on a shirt, do you immediately think, “Oh yes! I love the Best Mom Ever brand!” No. You think, “Huh. How come my kids haven’t bought me that shirt yet?“ (Joke. Thank you very much. I’ll be here all week.)

An application to register “Best Mom Ever” as a trademark for T-shirts and coffee mugs would be considered a frivolous trademark.

Collateral Benefits

Last year I got really passionate about ending frivolous trademarks. They’re affecting people I care about, are costing thousands or even millions of dollars in lost income and legal fees, while chilling legitimate competition in the marketplace. So I did what any OCD mama would do: I dove in deep. 

Along the way, I learned about more than just the Letter of Protest system. I discovered there are many IP, legal, and techie (website) mistakes that new business owners are likely to make. I plan to deposit all the trademark information here before it leaks out of my head. Peripheral topics like website creation and other technical issues will go on my personal blog at SmarterJoy.com.

This site is a work in progress. To be totally transparent with you, I’m shifting gears to finish and publish a book in tribute to my amazing mom. Much of my previous research is already on this site, and I plan to upload the remainder as soon as the book is done. Feel free to follow my journey (and ask any Letter of Protest/Trademark-related questions) on my Facebook business page.

Thanks for stopping by!