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Thinking Like An Entrepreneur
Table of Contents

Chapter 3
Men Are Cheaper Than Guns

Chapter 4
Intellectual Capital And Bootstrapping

Thinking Like An Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship &
S Corporation

Entrepreneur Word Table of Contents

This page provides links and analysis for those interested in trademark litigation over the use of the word "entrepreneur."

Entrepreneur Magazine's Hot 100 Companies: Too Hot To Handle
Entrepreneur Magazine is being sued for gross negligence because of ranking Agape.

Entrepreneur Media Abandons Legal Claims Against Lesonsky

Entrepreneur Magazine Sues Former Editor Rieva Lesonsky

After building the company for 26 years, former editoral director Lesonsky is sued for allegedly stealing "trade secrets" and violating Entrepreneur Media's trademarks. Entrepreneur Magazine Sues Former Editor Rieva Lesonsky

Petition to cancel EMI's trademarks (genericness and fraud)

Petition To Cancel. Updated Petition to Cancel EMI's trademarks of the word "entrepreneur" on grounds of genericness and fraud. EMI may well have committed the longest running and greatest trademark fraud of all time.

Entrepreneur Media argues for genericness of "Entrepreneur of the Year"!?

Entrepreneur Magazine's Hypocrisy. Entrepreneur Media, Inc. argues that "Entrepreneur of the Year" is generic while seeking to protect its "proprietary rights" to "entrepreneur's association," "entrepreneur's workshop," and "Entrepreneur's Guide."

Entrepreneur Trademark Update 11-1-07

Will Entrepreneur Media, Inc., challenge the World's Greatest Entrepreneur, Bill Gates, for daring to create Entrepreneur Solution Software?

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. wins its appeal vs. Scott Smith (6-18-04 update)

Curiously, EMI has won Scott Smith's appeal for his use of the word "entrepreneur."

For the short text of the decision, see (pdf format) Ninth-Circuit-Smith-Decision.pdf.

For more information, including briefs filed for this appeal by both parties, visit

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. COO, Neil Perlman, says: "Our action was never an attempt to monopolize the word "Entrepreneur" but to protect our brand established over the past 27 years under U.S. Trademark laws."

Entrepreneur: The Soap Opera Continues

Last time we updated this page, the 9th circuit had remanded the decision to the lower court to determine certain points of fact. Curiously, the judge at the lower court claimed the trademark of the word "entrepreneur" was distinctive and entitled to strong protection.

The judge wrote: "Entrepreneur" is a strong[,] distinctive mark"

This is impossible. If a trademark is classified as descriptive it is not also very distinctive. For example, a word can be both generic and descriptive (Pilates). However, for trademark purposes those categories are separate. A decision must be made as to whether the word is generic or descriptive, as far as trademarkability goes. (If descriptive, and it acquires 'secondary meaning,' it can become a trademark.) Many people don't understand that there is a continuum of trademark strength. And, ultimately, a lower-court ruling must agree with the rulings of the higher court.

Strength of trademarks is classified by the nature of the mark:

  • Arbitrary or Fanciful Trademarks. Strong Trademarks.
  • Suggestive Trademarks.
  • Descriptive Trademarks (with secondary meaning assumed). Weak Trademarks.
  • Generic words or expressions (not allowed trademark status)

The 9th Circuit has clearly said that Entrepreneur Media, Inc.'s trademark is weak, descriptive both of its target audience and descriptive of its content.

We believe all trademarks of the single word "entrepreneur" when held by a company serving entrepreneurs are generic and should be cancelled.

Smith is appealing the decision back to the higher court, where we believe Smith has an outstanding chance of winning. has great information about the entrepreneur trademark issue.

Scott Smith's reply to an article at Business Know How (a link to the original editorial appears on the page).

Entrepreneurs at has a great article about the new decision also.

Entrepreneur: The Legal Decision

In the Scott Smith case, the Court has ruled that Entrepreneur Media, Inc. cannot prevent entrepreneurs from using the word 'entrepreneur' in their business name.
Read the full legal decision (pdf format):

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. Vs. Scott Smith Decision

Entrepreneur: Generic Word

Entrepreneur Trademark Questions And Answers

For more information about Entrepreneur Media, Inc.'s trademark of the single word "entrepreneur" and its attempt to prevent other entrepreneurs from using the word "entrepreneur" within the heartland of the word's dictionary definition, visit these web sites:

The Trademarks of the single word 'entrepreneur' (As filed with the USPTO)

Article by an entrepreneur attacked by Entrepreneur Media, Inc. for trademark infringement

"Entrepreneur Media crusades to protect trademark"

Keep "Entrepreneur" Free (From the site Entrepreneur Media, Inc. tried to acquire the web domain upon threat of lawsuit, but the founder of the site is a very rich and successful entrepreneur who vowed to fight Entrepreneur Media, Inc. Entreprenur Media, Inc. decided to find other entrepreneurs to pick on instead.)

Tongue Tied (from Forbes Magazine)

"Entrepreneur:" A Trademark With Respect To "BOOKS" ? (From our site)

We Must Defend The Word "Entrepreneur" (From our site)

Websites using "Entrepreneur" in its common, generic sense (From our site)

Copy of Amicus Curiae Letter I sent in support of Scott Smith (From our site)

Petition To Cancel Entrepreneur Media, Inc.'s trademark of the single, generic word 'entrepreneur' (Long 55 pages! Draft)

"Entrepreneur Of The Year" also a registered trademark:

Business Leader Magazine forced to stop their "Entrepreneur Of The Year" awards. ( Link no longer active.