My two favorite entrepreneurial bloggers, Tim Berry http://timberry.bplans.com and Robert Jones http://penpointgroup.com/2011/07/kicking-off-the-antipreneur-movement , are launching a movement to replace the word Entrepreneur with a new name. Why?
It seems there is a trademark on the word Entrepreneur. The owner of the trademark has been known to sue people and businesses that infringe on their mark by including the word Entrepreneur in their brand, website, etc. They feel this causes confusion in the marketplace with their publication…. Entrepreneur Magazine. To me, this is just one more example of how the patent and trademark laws for intellectual property have outlived their usefulness.
During my entrepreneurial career as co-founder and CEO of an eProcurement application software company, I was involved with a couple of patent infringement cases. In one, we showed how our software had been created long before the current patent had been granted. In the other, we received a not-so-veiled threat from one of OUR customers who claimed we should license their technology (which actually included the software they had licensed from us!!!!). If not, they would sue us.
If you’re not up to speed on patents and trademarks, this all sounds unbelievable. How could this happen in the U.S.? The unintended consequences of government regulation are clearly discouraging would-be Entrepreneurs from innovating.
Any ideas for a replacement word for Entrepreneur? Love to hear your ideas.