Pi Gamma Mu Key
International Honor Society in Social Sciences
The mission of Pi Gamma Mu is to encourage and promote excellence in the social sciences and to uphold the ideals of scholarship and service.

VIEW FROM THE PODIUM

Making Our Mark

All of us understand why one locks the doors of her automobile after parking it in a lot, why one locks the doors of his home when he goes to work, why one stores a diamond ring that she doesn't wear in a safe-deposit box, and so forth. A more esoteric matter is what one might do to protect what we call "intellectual property." The content of this column is, in fact, my intellectual property. I might not want you to profit from the content of this column, just as I don't want you to profit from the gold bars that I store in my garage. (Alas, there really aren't any gold bars in my garage. In my garage, I actually store boxes containing that much more of my intellectual property, like the research papers that I wrote when I was in graduate school.) The challenge with protecting intellectual property is that, quite unlike the gold bars, I deliberately offer my intellectual property to the public, as when I present it in this newsletter. Then, I essentially want to take it back, so that nobody will reprint it someplace else without my permission.

The U. S. Constitution acknowledges a person's right to profit from her intellectual property. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 empowers the U. S. Congress "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." This constitutional provision is the basis for the national government's issuance of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and service marks. Intellectual property can be extremely valuable. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., a division of the Warner Music Group, currently owns the copyright to the familiar song "Happy Birthday to You," and collects a royalty for every public performance of it. In any given year, the royalties add up to a few million dollars. Two years ago, Forbes magazine said that the most valuable trademark is Google's. Forbes reported the value of the trademark to be $44.3 billion. Some sources now suggest that the value of the trademark of computer maker Apple, Inc., has surpassed that of Google.

Pi Gamma Mu wants our brand to be protected as our intellectual property, too. Accordingly, on November 16, 2012, we submitted an application to the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a component of the Department of Commerce, for a service mark covering our name and logo. The USPTO officially registered our service mark on November 19, 2013, after a multi-step process that was facilitated by one of the USPTO's examining attorneys, Michele-Lynn Swain, whose service to our honor society (as well as to the rest of the public) we gratefully acknowledge. Our U. S. Registration Number is 4,435,110.

Several versions of our "visual identity" appear on Pi Gamma Mu's Web site. We have a "Graphics" Web page at http://www.pigammamu.org/graphics.html. Our policy on the use of our name and logo appears on that Web page. It says:

The name and graphics of Pi Gamma Mu, the International Honor Society in Social Sciences, are protected by a service mark (SM). The U. S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the service mark (U. S. Registration Number 4,435,110) on November 19, 2013. No entity other than Pi Gamma Mu and its chapters may use Pi Gamma Mu's name and graphics without the express written permission of the international executive director. Lifetime members of Pi Gamma Mu are authorized to use the Pi Gamma Mu name for the purpose of identifying their affiliation with the honor society.

As the statement suggests, we do not want to inhibit our chapters and members from using our name and logo for legitimate purposes. Others will just have to come across with a royalty payment, and, as you can undoubtedly imagine, Pi Gamma Mu's intellectual property doesn't come cheap. It may not be worth $44.3 billion now. But just remember that John D. Rockefeller started out as a 50-cents-a-day bookkeeper, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Barry D. Friedman
International President – Pi Gamma Mu®

 

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CHANGE OF ADDRESS

Anytime you move, such as after graduation, please notify the Pi Gamma Mu office immediately. This will prevent your mailings from being interrupted or discontinued. The International Social Science Review is returned to us by the post office, which is an additional expense for the international office to absorb. Just mail a change-of-address card, post card, or letter to Pi Gamma Mu, 1001 Millington St., Suite B, Winfield, KS 67156. If you prefer, you can send an E-mail message (executivedirector@pigammamu.org), or go to our Web site (www.pigammamu.org) to change your address information. We need your name, as well as your old and new address. Thank you very much for taking a few minutes to keep your information current.

Mailing address: Pi Gamma Mu, 1001 Millington St., Suite B, Winfield, KS 67156.

OTHER ARTICLES:

Front Page: APPLICATIONS FOR 2014 GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS DUE ON FEB. 15

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2013 SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS ANNOUNCED

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PI GAMMA MU'S NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IS NANCY WIEBE

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CANDICE QUINN BECOMES EDITOR OF THE ISSR

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VIEW FROM THE PODIUM: Making Our Mark

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SHADOW PRESIDENT UPDATE: Obama and USA fall from top spot

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DEAN J. FAFOUTIS RECOGNIZED FOR 11 YEARS AS ISSR EDITOR

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CHAPTERS IN ACTION

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ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGE HONOR SOCIETIES

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DONOR RECOGNITION

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IDEALS OF PI GAMMA MU

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