Missing My (Trade)Mark
Published: September 4, 2013
Author: Todd Mintz
I’m certainly not the only search marketer who attempts to make strategic domain purchases based upon an attempt to predict future societal trends. However, I’ve recently realized that taking a subsequent strategic step could have not only successfully supplemented any domain purchase (had I been successful at getting the names I wanted) but would have given me a secondary shot at monetizing my ideas were I not able to get the domain that I wanted.
Clearly the union of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh was a historic moment in NBA history. When this “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” moment occurred, people, including myself, speculated on the inevitable nickname that would stick to the pairing of three amazing basketball talents.
At the time this occurred, my personal blog was brand new, and I was searching for anything to write about. With a relatively few days of LeBron’s signing, I had an insight that they might end up being called the “Miami ThreeHeat”, so I wrote a reasonably forgettable personal blog post on this topic from a domainer’s point of view, deducing that this name would stick due to the closeness of “ThreeHeat” with “ThreePeat” (trademarked by Pat Riley from his era with the Lakers) and that, furthermore, Riley’s association with Miami lent even more credence to the name.
I went searching for domains to purchase based on my prediction. Threeheat.com was owned by a heating company, so that most desirable choice wasn’t available to me. I ended up purchasing several inferior alternatives (the .org and three hyphenated versions of the phrase). At the time, it seemed like it was only me who had this amazing idea…so, I let the domains drop and this blog post faded into obscurity for me…until recently.
In 2011, Miami went to the NBA Finals and lost to Dallas.
In 2012 and 2013, Miami won the NBA Finals.
In 2014, Miami is going for its third consecutive NBA Title. Three for the Heat. Three Heat.
Pat Riley’s trademarking of “ThreePeat” has made him a bloody fortune.
Had I followed the lead of Pat Riley (which I actually referenced in my own 2010 blog post), the next logical step for me after buying the inferior “ThreeHeat” domains would have been to trademark “ThreeHeat” for use in commerce in the same manner as Pat Riley did back in the ’80s.
Now, getting a Trademark is a much more involved process and expense compared to buying a domain name (not to mention the issues of enforcing trademarks). However, I did have the “vision” on this phrase (likely) before anyone else did, and had I possessed a stronger belief in my idea and had the advanced knowledge that I currently possess, I could have had a clearer field to prospective wealth if Miami were to win in 2014.
Recently, ESPN profiled a person who had the vision I lacked, and right now, the USPTO is cluttered with trademarks attempting to exploit the idea I had more than 3 years ago. Whoops. My bad :).