Well, well, well...
Broadway Books First Class (BBFC) is now registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office!
I pursued this at the prompting of friends who urged me to safeguard my creation with copyright and trademark protections. I learned quite a bit about what this all means through the long, costly process. Copyrighting is much easier, cheaper, and faster. Trademarking is another matter.
Trademarks are given for goods and services. It means there is a monetary element to your business. That did not really fit with my program because it isn't a money making enterprise. But, I wanted to ensure that the dancing "Broadway book" logo my niece created for me could not be used by anyone else. The trademark requirements led me to reimagine what BBFC could be and how it might expand to other schools.
Might it become a nonprofit organization with a board? What are the opportunities for fundraising now that the guest artist visits are growing to include more and more students? Will a trademark help me grab the attention of publishers who might be willing to donate books? I am currently spending a great deal of my own money to purchase books and my appeals for support through DonorsChoose are most likely taxing the goodwill of my friends who generously donate time and time again.
A trademark opens up a lot of possibilities and gives a certain respectability (i.e. clout) to my program. Year Seven has just started. I'm curious to see where the next few years take me. The timing may be ripe for pushing forward because retirement is in my future within the next 5 years. Getting BBFC inside more schools might be a good way to keep my hand in education, while also celebrating literacy and the arts.
I'm not really sure how it will all unfold, but I trust that things will reveal themselves over time. In the meanwhile, I hold a trademark for something I created! That feels kinda cool. My mom would be proud.