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Utah Jumps the Shark With Trademark Protection Act

Utah is known for dim bulbs in Congress trying to legislate tech issues without a clue what they’re doing. It harkens back to the day when Utah’s WordPerfect was the most popular word processor and Novell was still headquartered in Orem.

No longer on the cutting edge, the state now attempts to make itself relevant for something other than HBO’s Big Love.

Utah’s legislature has just passed a law that attempts to restrict the way you do business on the Internet. Called the “Trademark Protection Act,” this poorly written legislation creates an “electronic registration mark.”

How can this affect you?

The law might be violated if you use as an advertising keyword (such as in Google Adwords or other pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns) a mark that has been registered in Utah under the new law.

Imagine the chaos if all 50 states set up such laws and you had to pay annual registration fees in each to protect your mark.

Look for this bill to be struck down as unconstitutional. The state is interfering with interstate commerce. In the mean time, tread carefully when doing business in Utah.

Hat tip to Danny Sullivan at

Mike Young, Esq.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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