How sustainable is disposable?

Posted by | November 18, 2010 | General | One Comment

Trademark attorneys know that there are various ways in which to conduct searches on the USPTO’s TM database.  You can search by trademark, or a portion thereof.  You can search by owner.  You can search by goods and services.  You can even search by attorney (yes, by attorney; seasoned TM attys easily can identify the poseurs).  You also can combine searches, for example to search for all marks owned by Company X on which the attorney of record is Atty Y.

I like to geek-out sometimes (I think that’s the technical, legal term) and run searches to see who’s doing what, what’s happening in certain industries / communities, etc.  Today I ran a search to see how many manufacturers of disposable products have applied to register marks that convey that their products are good for the planet.  I accomplished this by searching for the marks that had a buzzword as part of the mark and the word “disposable” in the goods.  Here is what I found:

7 pending applications or registered marks contain the root word SUSTAIN for disposable products.  These include BOLLORE THIN PAPERS SUSTAINABLE PAPER SOLUTIONS for disposable cleaning wipes (etc) and MONOGRAM SUSTAIN for disposable plastic gloves (etc).  There are 21 marks contain the  root word ENVIRO for disposable products.  Hands-down, my favorite disposable enviro mark is ENVIROFOAM for “disposable foam tableware” (what else would one expect from a company named Dispoz-o Products?  ):



Sounds suspicious to me.  There are 65 ECO marks for disposables, including ECOSAFE (wow, eco and safe!) for — of course — “disposable plastic goods, namely, every kind of bag imaginable.”  Doesn’t sound eco or safe to me.  There’s also ECO HOUND for “disposable housebreaking pads for pets.”

And then there’s everyone’s favorite term GREEN.  There are 92 applications and registrations that contain GREEN in the mark and DISPOSABLE in the description of goods.  There’s GREEN TRAVEL for “disposable bags to put pet waste in;” there’s GREEN WITHOUT COMPROMISE for “plastic disposable diaper bags” (and lots of other plastic goodies); and GREENIE BABIE for disposable diapers and wipes.

I don’t know what the folks at Clorox would say, but I think GREEN works a lot better when it’s not thrown in the trash.


About Lara

Lara Pearson is a trademark attorney with Exemplar, where she also serves as the firm's Sustainability Steward. Lara's legal practice focuses on trademark and copyright law, including: intellectual property audits; trademark search & clearance; trademark and copyright registration & maintenance; intellectual property transfers; transactional work; and dispute resolution, including litigation when necessary. Lara primarily represents other social enterprises -- those leveraging their businesses and brands as catalysts for positive social and environmental change. Such businesses engage in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) to have a positive "triple bottom line" of people, planet and profit. As Exemplar's Sustainability Steward, Lara works with others in her law firm to measure and reduce the firm's carbon emissions and encourage engagement in social responsibility initiatives, including pro bono legal work and volunteering. Lara is a proud member of the Social Venture Network. Brand Geek is a member of 1% for the Planet and a Certified B Corporation, whose Incline Village office is certified under the regional Keep the Sierra Green program. Exemplar Companies is the most innovative professional services firm in the New Economy. Our unique, diversified expertise spans the disciplines of corporate law, business advisory, and capital/investment banking to better meet the needs of our high-potential customers. We have assembled a comprehensive suite of service to meet the complex issues facing companies in today’s challenging business environment. Our unique, holistic approach ensures the growth and success – and greatly increases the competitive advantage - of our customers. The Exemplar team is comprised of knowledgeable, highly skilled experts in a wide range of industries and disciplines. They work closely with our customers to provide trusted advice, incomparable support, expert guidance and the ultimate competitive advantage as they accelerate their businesses and position themselves to transform industries.

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