Under the Radar

90: Trademarks


00:00:00   Welcome to Under the Radar, a show about independent iOS app development. I'm Marco Arment.

00:00:04   >> And I'm David Smith. Under the Radar is never longer than 30 minutes, so let's get started.

00:00:09   So today I wanted to very carefully and gingerly make our way towards topics related to legal

00:00:19   things, which is terrifying. Neither of us are lawyers, have any experience in the law or things

00:00:26   like that, but there's some topics that get into some legal situations that I think if you're an

00:00:32   independent developer, you just kind of have to get over the fact that it's a little bit intimidating,

00:00:35   at least for me it's very intimidating to go into this kind of thing. And specifically,

00:00:39   I kind of wanted to talk about trademarks and copyright and how they kind of can become either

00:00:47   things that if we don't take care of could come back to bite us and maybe from a proactive

00:00:52   perspective some of the things that we should be doing. Because I know for myself, I've done very

00:00:57   little in this realm, mostly because it's scary to me. And in the back of my mind, it feels like

00:01:08   this ticking time bomb that one day is going to come back to bite me. And I know that you, Marco,

00:01:13   have done, you've crossed over that boundary and actually done some work with trademarks and

00:01:19   copyrights and things to have the appropriate legal protections for your work. And so I thought

00:01:25   it'd be rather than, you know, it's like it's been meaningful for months to ask you about that

00:01:29   process and doing it on the show just seems to be a very efficient way to dive into that. And then

00:01:34   we can all learn from that. Because, you know, in general, like the situation that I usually

00:01:40   worry about is obviously, you know, somebody is trying to capitalize on, you know, the name

00:01:46   recognition of one of my products or on one of my apps. And, you know, on that side of things,

00:01:51   like I would like protection against someone else doing that. And then on the flip side is obviously

00:01:57   the situation that I've actually encountered a couple times and never been too bad, but is

00:02:02   someone who's claims that you are infringing on their trademarks on their copyrights. And

00:02:06   as a result, you know, like I had to make subtle changes to my branding or things like that,

00:02:14   which in theory, if I had the appropriate, you know, taken the right steps to protect myself

00:02:18   ahead of time, you know, I could say something back to. But first, it's probably a good place

00:02:24   to start is, can you explain to me like the difference between a trademark and a copyright

00:02:30   for the purposes of this kind of stuff around branding and things? Yeah, absolutely. And again,

00:02:34   keep in mind, I'll repeat it, even though you already said it, we are not lawyers, this does

00:02:39   not constitute legal advice. If you are doing these things, you should consult a real lawyer.

00:02:45   But what I can talk about is my own layman overview knowledge of these systems and that my own

00:02:51   experiences with using them as a customer of these systems and as a user of these tools. Anybody who

00:02:56   makes and releases anything to the public, this includes like even YouTubers, like anybody who

00:03:01   releases anything to the public, you should be familiar with these basic concepts. Copyright is

00:03:06   what protects the exact expression of something. So copyright protects like your source code, you

00:03:12   wrote that, like your software itself, like your app can be protected by copyright generally speaking.

00:03:18   If you make videos or podcasts, those recordings that you make, those are protected by your

00:03:25   copyright. Copyright in the US is automatic. You don't have to file for it. You don't have to pay

00:03:30   for it. It is automatic and anything you create that is a creative work is copyrighted generally

00:03:35   speaking. Again, for the finer details of this, you should definitely do better research and talk

00:03:40   to professionals in this field, which I am not. But copyright is, you don't really have to do

00:03:45   anything for the most part, for most forms to get copyright. It is automatic. Trademark protects

00:03:52   generally the names of things and it can also go into like logos and designs and trade dress.

00:03:58   Those are very complicated areas. I don't know anything about them. I only have experience with

00:04:02   trademark protecting names. So you can name your product, you can name features of your product,

00:04:07   you can name, I guess your company I guess could probably also be trademarked technically. I don't

00:04:12   even know how that works. My experience is in naming products and features. And trademark is

00:04:18   what protects you from other people releasing a similar kind of thing with the same or a

00:04:25   confusionally similar name and trying to capitalize on the name that you've built up. And then patents

00:04:32   protect a process or method of doing things. I personally have no experience filing for patents

00:04:42   because I kind of morally object to them. I don't think patents should exist and that's a discussion

00:04:49   for another day but basically in the world of software I think it's very unusual for indies to

00:04:56   file for patents. Filing for patents is either worthless or very expensive. If you want a patent

00:05:05   to be enforceable at all my understanding is basically you need to spend quite a lot of money

00:05:09   hiring specialists who know exactly what they're doing on how to file them and how to write them

00:05:13   and things like that to make sure that it's valuable at all and can't be easily worked around.

00:05:17   And then patents also have the other problem of they're fairly expensive to enforce. If you want

00:05:24   to patent the way you do something in your app, for example suppose I wanted to patent the technique

00:05:29   of removing silences or speeding up silences faster than the surrounding audio in a podcast.

00:05:35   So I'd basically be patenting my technique for smart speed. In reality this probably is not

00:05:39   patentable because people have done it before. But suppose I wanted to patent that, the process

00:05:44   of patenting that my understanding would be that would cost tens of thousands of dollars to even

00:05:49   get a reasonably written, reasonably enforceable patent filed. And then if anybody would actually

00:05:56   violate my patent I would have to then spend even more money legally threatening them and possibly

00:06:02   even eventually suing them to try to get royalties or to get them to stop or whatever the case may be.

00:06:08   And so it's a level of complexity and money that most indies don't have. I suggest you stay far

00:06:15   away from patents. Most people in our business don't file patents and it's generally fine.

00:06:20   You do have to worry about patent trolls hitting you, but that's something that again that's a

00:06:25   topic for another day. It's kind of unavoidable unfortunately. That's one of the reasons why

00:06:28   patents are so dysfunctional. Yeah and I think before we move on from patents I think the only

00:06:33   situation that I've ever seen or could imagine a patent actually being useful for an independent

00:06:39   or someone doing that kind of work is if you're starting a business for the sole purpose of being

00:06:44   acquired later. You have this idea for a technology and you're hoping to then sell that technology to

00:06:52   another company, in which case having that patented I imagine is very valuable in making that sale.

00:07:00   Because otherwise if it's an unpatented idea, well they could just do it in many ways. And so you'd

00:07:07   want to go down that road, but that's a very specialized thing. And in general I have the

00:07:11   exact same perspective as you. That it's just not worth the effort and pain of going down

00:07:16   versus the reward that you potentially could get by somehow potentially protecting yourself down

00:07:22   the road. That probably things like trademark and those types of protections are probably far more

00:07:28   useful and enforceable than anything you'd ever get from trying to patent an idea in one of your

00:07:35   apps. Patenting features and stuff is not usually likely to get you any kind of real competitive

00:07:41   advantage like in the world. The way the software business mostly works is features are basically

00:07:48   free-for-alls. Once someone does a feature, someone else can come along and do it too.

00:07:53   And the world of software has mostly worked that way for its entire history and it mostly works

00:08:00   fine and it's part of what makes software so fast-moving. It's part of why software has gotten

00:08:06   so far in such a short time relative to other previous industries is that we are largely

00:08:12   unrestricted by patents for most things we want to do. I didn't have to license any patents in

00:08:18   order to make a podcast player that plays files and that applies certain effects to them and that

00:08:26   arranges them in certain ways and downloads them in certain ways and plays them from feeds.

00:08:31   I did not have to license any patents to do that. Anybody can do that and that's part of what makes

00:08:35   your industry great. So let's skip patents entirely for the rest of the discussion again.

00:08:39   Like I don't think they should even exist and they are best stayed away from by indies.

00:08:44   Again to review before we move on, copyrights protect the actual expression of a creative work

00:08:49   or the actual instance of the work or your actual code. Trademarks protect names and logos and

00:08:53   patents protect methods. So going back to trademark. Filing a trademark in the US,

00:09:00   unfortunately I don't have any experience filing trademarks outside of the US. Filing for a

00:09:05   trademark in the US is something that for most companies is optional but it's often a good idea.

00:09:12   There might be cheaper ways to do it online like through various like quick legal forms kind of

00:09:18   sites that exist out there for discount prices. I have only ever filed trademarks through a

00:09:24   trademark lawyer because I wanted to do it right. This is usually a good idea in fields of law.

00:09:31   Usually you want to hire a specialist lawyer in that field to do the thing for you because

00:09:35   there are ways it can be done poorly or ways that it can be less effective than you want it to be

00:09:40   or cannot account for things that you might not know about as the customer or layperson.

00:09:45   So I've only hired trademark lawyers to do it and I think a ballpark for the fee on it is usually

00:09:51   around $3,000 maybe. Again there might be cheaper places. This has just been my experience. So

00:09:57   you're going to spend around $3,000 maybe $3,500 to file a trademark. And because this is a pretty

00:10:03   big amount of money for a lot of indies, this kind of determines like part of like whether you should

00:10:09   do it or not. That's a very, very big question. So I have trademarked the word Instapaper when I was

00:10:16   running Instapaper as the name of the app and what it did. I've also trademarked the word Overcast

00:10:22   when I launched that and then I also trademarked Smart Speed and Voice Boost, the names of those

00:10:27   two features. And there were multiple reasons for all those that I'll get into. So when I trademark

00:10:31   Instapaper, probably one of the biggest risks that indies actually face, one of the biggest

00:10:37   annoyances and needs for intellectual property protection that we face as developers of apps

00:10:42   on phones is people uploading clone apps or people ripping off our assets and using them in their

00:10:47   apps or people using an app with the same name on a different platform. So suppose a popular app on

00:10:52   iOS doesn't have an Android version. There will be people who will create the same name on Android

00:10:58   trying to capitalize on that success and trying to confuse, trying to trick people into thinking

00:11:02   that it's an official app, stuff like that. If somebody just like rips off your icon, which is

00:11:06   extremely common, that's very simple. That's copyright. So that's automatic. You can file a

00:11:12   complaint with Apple or Google, whoever is the app store in question here. Or if it's on a website,

00:11:19   you can file a DMCA request with their host. Copyright is fairly straightforward to try to

00:11:25   enforce. All you say is, "Look, this person is ripping off my image or sound or whatever here.

00:11:31   This is my image. Here is where it actually lives. Here is proof that it's older than this,

00:11:36   whatever, or that I made it." And those are pretty easy to get taken down pretty quickly.

00:11:41   Trademark is trickier, and that's one of the reasons why it's less common and more expensive

00:11:47   to enforce. It's a broader enforcement. So when I trademarked Instapaper, that also meant

00:11:55   that somebody could not come along and make an app that was similarly in the web page or

00:12:03   reading business and call it something like Instanpaper. Even though it's not the same thing,

00:12:10   it's not the same word, my trademark would have protected me from anybody doing something that

00:12:15   close to it or Instapooper. They couldn't do things like that. That would be too close to

00:12:20   my trademark. One thing that's important to know about trademarks is that they're fairly broad in

00:12:29   you need to be pretty far from the word that is trademarked in order to be safe from it.

00:12:34   But trademarks are only issued in certain industries and certain uses. And you can go,

00:12:41   and trademarks are all available online for searching. If you go to USPTO.gov,

00:12:46   you can go to their search engine and you can search all live and dead trademarks.

00:12:51   The trademarks do expire after a certain time, and if they're abandoned, then they're no longer

00:12:55   valid. And also, by the way, if they go unenforced, they're no longer valid. So if you get a

00:13:00   trademark, you have to enforce it. You have to actually police uses for it. I don't know the

00:13:06   fine details of that, so I'm not going to get into that. But anyway, I have the word trademarked

00:13:10   overcast for, if you look at the description, it's for a certain list of uses. So it's like

00:13:15   goods and services related to music and audio and podcasts and maybe video playback and podcast

00:13:23   applications for mobile phones and tablets and web and things like that. It lists a list of uses.

00:13:28   That does not include things like weather. So if you wanted to make a weather app named Overcast,

00:13:34   my trademark can't stop you from doing that. But it does stop you from making an app that's named

00:13:41   Overcast or anything very similar to Overcast in these areas. That's one of the reasons I got,

00:13:47   is because I wanted that. Now, Overcast is also a special case. One of the biggest problems

00:13:53   that a lot of indies face, as you mentioned, David, is that sometimes people release an app

00:13:59   with a name without having done a trademark search. Please never, ever, ever do this,

00:14:06   anybody. You can go to USPTO.gov, you can search trademarks. Before you name anything you're

00:14:13   releasing into the world, go there and do a basic search. It takes 30 seconds. And just see if

00:14:19   there's anything kind of like or very similar to or exactly named that that is in any industry close

00:14:24   to what you're doing. If so, just pick a different name from the start. Because so often what happens

00:14:30   is people don't do that search. They release an app with the same name that's already trademarked

00:14:34   somewhere nearby. And then that company finds it and they get a nasty gram from their company's

00:14:40   lawyers and they have to rename their app. Don't put yourself through that. It's easily avoided.

00:14:46   Please search for trademarks at USPTO.gov before you name anything public in the world.

00:14:54   It's very, very fast, it's very, very easy and it avoids these problems. And again, so whatever word

00:14:59   you search for, whatever phrase you search for, you will probably find something that is named

00:15:03   that or name something close. If it's in a totally different industry, it doesn't matter. But if

00:15:08   what it is described as in a trademark filing is anywhere near what you're doing,

00:15:15   pick a different name. And so I trademarked Overcast in part because I wanted to protect it,

00:15:21   but also in part because it was part of a more complicated deal. There was another trademark

00:15:26   called Overcast that was for something related to video playback. And I thought,

00:15:34   and my trademark lawyer thought, that's a little too close for comfort. So I have two options

00:15:38   there. I could either pick a different name, which I tried. I went through so many names and

00:15:44   it was a big process and I hated every other name I came up with. I really wanted to use the name

00:15:48   Overcast. So I took option B, which was contact the trademark owner of the other Overcast trademark

00:15:55   that was in the video space. So it's kind of close to what I'm doing. And basically,

00:16:00   negotiate with them for a coexistence agreement, which basically means that they would allow me

00:16:07   to use the name Overcast and to file my own trademark on Overcast within a certain way,

00:16:14   if I basically avoided stepping on their toes in certain ways and paid them a small amount of money.

00:16:19   So that's what I did. So part of, yeah, so there's all these complex arrangements you can have.

00:16:24   One of the reasons I suggest filing for your own trademark is that it makes it easier for you to

00:16:32   know that you can use that name. Because you can release something out there without having a

00:16:38   trademark on it and you might be fine. Most of the time that happens to work out. But if you're able

00:16:44   to file a trademark on a name, you can be much more assured, nothing's ever assured legally,

00:16:51   but you can be much more assured that you are actually allowed to use that name in that way.

00:16:56   Because not only will your trademark lawyer do a search to make sure before they even bother filing,

00:17:00   but then whatever the people are called at the US Patent and Trademark Office who actually

00:17:05   inspect and validate these claims, they are going to do their own search to make sure that they

00:17:12   think you have a right to issue this trademark or to get this trademark.

00:17:15   So if you have your own trademark, it's much less likely that any company is ever going to come

00:17:21   bother you and say, "Hey, you can't use this name because we trademarked it." Because chances are,

00:17:26   your lawyer and the USPTO lawyers both looked to make sure that everything was pretty far away

00:17:31   from it and were pretty conservative in whether they'd issue that to you or not. So basically,

00:17:37   the reasons to do it are twofold. One is to make sure you can use the name you want. And then

00:17:43   number two is to then protect it so that no one else can use the name you want. So here's how that

00:17:48   works in practice. Suppose someone uploads an app called Overcast to the app store or they call it

00:17:56   like Overpodcast or something very close to Overcast. If I file a dispute with Apple over that,

00:18:03   if I just say, "Hey, I have an app named this and this person has a similar app with a similar name,"

00:18:08   Apple doesn't have much they can do with that. Because if they pull that app, what if the maker

00:18:14   of the other app sues them saying, "Hey, no, the other person had no right to ask to do that. They

00:18:20   had no claim to the name. Why'd you pull us off the store?" So Apple or Google or whoever else is

00:18:25   gonna be pretty careful and is probably not gonna pull an app off the store for a very similar name

00:18:29   as yours unless you have a trademark. Because then you can say, "Look, I have this trademark

00:18:36   registered, this number in the US. Here it is. You can see it for yourself. And it was registered on

00:18:41   this date for me and my company. This app is violating this trademark. It's too close."

00:18:46   Then the person you're emailing, Apple, Google, whatever, they have a leg to stand on to take the

00:18:52   other app down. It's much easier for them to know what the right move is. So it's actually very,

00:18:58   very hard to get an app pulled from an app store for trademark violation or for having a name too

00:19:02   close to yours unless you actually have a registered trademark. It's very easy to get

00:19:08   copyright infringement pulled. Again, if somebody rips off your icon or whatever, it's very easy

00:19:11   to get that pulled down. But if someone just uploads a very similarly named or identically

00:19:15   named app, it's very hard to get that down unless you have your own trademark. So those are the

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00:20:02   Indeed Prime for sponsoring our show. So you make a lot of very compelling cases for using this. And

00:20:09   I've got to say it is kind of concerning to me that it's I've never filed for a trademark after

00:20:15   hearing through your whole thing. Like the extent of a lot of my searching, which is probably the

00:20:20   wrong way around, is that I go to the App Store, and I search for the name that I'm thinking about

00:20:25   and see if there's already an app in the store with the name. And if there isn't, then great.

00:20:30   And then I'll go into iTunes Connect, and I'll search there to see if I can create the name

00:20:35   because sometimes, you know, an app will exist in the iTunes Connect system but not be available in

00:20:41   the US store. It's like if in both of those places I come away clean, I'm like, "Great,

00:20:46   you know, good to go." But yeah, that's probably short-sighted on my part to have that kind of a

00:20:55   perspective. Because a lot of people assume that if a domain name is available or if the name in

00:21:01   the App Store is available, they just assume, "Oh, there must not be a trademark here. I must be

00:21:06   allowed to use this. No one was here, so I can use it." And that just isn't the case. And that's why

00:21:13   you see so many indie apps that launch and then have to change their name because of a trademark

00:21:17   dispute. And again, it's so easily avoided most of the time. I mean, not all the time. Sometimes

00:21:22   you'll have one come out of nowhere that you don't think is similar enough but isn't worth fighting

00:21:26   a claim. And that's a big problem with the legal system, unfortunately. But for the most part,

00:21:31   these things are pretty easy to avoid early on in the process. I also wanted to talk briefly about

00:21:37   why I trademarked SmartSpeed and Voice Boost. I did this right at the beginning with Overcast.

00:21:42   I didn't wait until six months in when I knew they were a success. I did it right up front.

00:21:47   And the reason why is that I was putting a lot of marketing behind these names. These were two

00:21:56   features that were very, very difficult to message to customers and to show their value. And so I had

00:22:03   invested quite a lot, both technically and UI design-wise, in making sure that these were

00:22:10   like branded named things. It wasn't just like a checkbox in the settings that said "Remove silences

00:22:16   from audio and boost the volume with a compressor." It wasn't just that. And the way I did them I

00:22:23   thought was very, very good. I thought I had very good implementations. So I both wanted people to

00:22:28   know these names and also for people to recognize that this was not just like a setting, that this

00:22:35   was something valuable, something special that I had created. They deserved their own brand for

00:22:41   something that I had put a lot of effort into. And what I didn't want was someone else to come along

00:22:47   with a really crappy silence skipper and name theirs and just have smart speed as their label

00:22:53   on their box. And then for someone to try that and say, "Yeah, well I guess silence skipping isn't

00:22:58   very good because this sounds like crap." And then that devalues the selling proposition of my app

00:23:03   if they came upon that next because they'd say, "Well, that doesn't matter. That feature sucks.

00:23:06   I'll never use it because I used it in this other app and it was crap." So I wanted to protect both

00:23:10   the value of these features and also to give them good solid names that I'd be marketing in the UI

00:23:16   and in my materials. And I didn't want someone else to come along and dilute their value.

00:23:23   So I also wanted to get some kind of reward for it. If I'm going to convince the podcast listening

00:23:29   world through all this effort that they need a silence skipper and a compressor and an equalizer,

00:23:34   then I deserve exclusivity on that, I felt. And I know this is kind of conflicting with my patent

00:23:40   argument earlier, but it's a lot easier to give someone a different name than to change the entire

00:23:44   method if you're doing something. So that's why I don't think it's the same approach at all.

00:23:47   So I thought that both I wanted protection from these ideas from dilution of quality from other

00:23:52   people and also I didn't want someone else to just be able to capitalize immediately upon the

00:23:57   marketing work I had done. So that's why I trademarked those. I think it was worth it

00:24:02   because now whenever other podcasts have to implement these features, they have to give

00:24:05   them different names. And even though everyone knows it's Smartspeed and Voice Boost, the fact is

00:24:10   I still own those names and I still get value from that. So moving on, in the case of your trademarks,

00:24:17   you have a problem that many of your apps use generic words that describe what they do

00:24:23   as their names. Things like audiobooks, my recipe book, pedometer plus plus,

00:24:28   sleep plus plus, workouts plus, activity, like all these, you have all these names.

00:24:32   Again, I'm not a trademark lawyer. I think those would be difficult to trademark. If you include

00:24:38   the plus plus, that probably makes it a lot better. But I think overall that might present a challenge

00:24:45   because you can't get a trademark if something is too generic sounding or if it's too descriptive

00:24:52   of what it does without much value beyond just a description of it. So that I think would be

00:24:59   difficult. You would have to actually consult with a trademark lawyer to even know

00:25:02   whether you could get trademarks on a lot of your names. And this is a problem that a lot of indie

00:25:07   apps will have. It's really only reasonably easy to trademark basically branded names, not just a

00:25:15   description of like, "best note taker in the world" or like "voice recorder plus notebook." That's

00:25:21   hard to trademark. So you might have that issue with some of your names. Yeah. And I think in some

00:25:27   ways that's part of where I, when I was initially starting to make software, part of the struggle

00:25:33   was I ran into that initially for my first successful app was just called Audiobooks, which

00:25:38   from a trademark perspective is terrible, but from an SEO perspective is amazing.

00:25:43   Because there's a reason why a lot of my apps have these very simplistic, basic names. If you go into

00:25:49   the app store and you're interested in listening to an audiobook, you type in audiobooks and there

00:25:54   it is. And so it works well in that regard. And it's just one of the trade-offs that from a

00:26:00   trademark perspective that I can't take advantage of. Though on the plus side, it makes it also

00:26:04   harder for someone else to claim a trademark against me because they have the same problem

00:26:09   that like, you can, they, they, they, no one else could have trademarked that generic term in the

00:26:14   first place either. So yeah, but it is definitely something that is a trade-off that if you, if you

00:26:20   want to trademark something, you need to give it a distinctive name that is not purely descriptive.

00:26:28   Otherwise you're almost certainly going to run into this.

00:26:31   - Yeah. And a trademark lawyer might take your money to file that anyway. Like,

00:26:35   like back with Instapaper, the back one pocket was called Read it Later. The guy who ran it

00:26:40   filed for a trademark on the phrase Read it Later long after we had both started and Instapaper's

00:26:47   button that it would install in the browser was labeled Read Later. And so long after this had

00:26:51   been going on for forever, he found a trademark and threatened me and said, you have to stop using

00:26:55   the phrase Read Later. And I showed it to a trademark lawyer and like two seconds of inspection

00:26:59   and the guy was like, yeah, he has no right to ask you to do this. This trademark does not give him

00:27:03   that right. Like, like there are different strengths of trademarks. And again, this is

00:27:07   something you should ask a lawyer about really. But if you have a generic phrase like that,

00:27:12   your rights are much more narrow of what you can actually enforce. Like I couldn't then name a

00:27:18   product I launched Read it Later, but I can still use the phrase Read Later on my button because it

00:27:23   was, you know, descriptive in some way. And yeah, so consult a lawyer with all this stuff, basically

00:27:27   is the short version of this. Yeah. And I think as we wrap up, I think the thing that I in the back

00:27:33   of my mind as we talk about this, like this is all great advice and useful. The thing that I do

00:27:38   wonder about, though, is the degree to which if you're starting out and making your app for the

00:27:43   first time, like spending a few thousand dollars upfront to trademark something that may or may not

00:27:49   go somewhere is certainly a bit of an intimidating thing. And maybe and the nice thing is, I believe

00:27:55   trademarks are the kind of things that you can file for, you know, sort of retrospectively,

00:27:59   it isn't like if you haven't filed it before you launch, that it will, you know, like you lose the

00:28:04   ability to do that. And so it is certainly something that is like, this is the position

00:28:07   I find myself in now of, it's like, if some if something has traction, if it finds a market for

00:28:13   itself, then it can certainly something that you can retrospectively look at and say, you know,

00:28:17   I really need to take care of this and protect it. Now that it is something, you know, it isn't

00:28:22   something that necessarily that you just need to like view as the cost of launching an app for the

00:28:27   first time. Exactly. Like you can before you launch, do the search for trademarks to see if

00:28:32   you foresee any problems. That's free. And then yeah, once it becomes a thing that is successful

00:28:38   enough, if it does, that it might justify spending $3,000 to help protect it, then you buy the

00:28:45   trademark then. All right. And with that, we're out of time this week. Thank you for listening,

00:28:49   everyone. And we'll talk to you next week. Bye.