Are You as Trademark Savvy as Disney?

Kudos to Disney for having the savoir-faire—and the wherewithal—to trademark “SEAL Team 6.”  Yes, while the rest of us were wondering if Osama Bin Laden was really dead and whether we needed to see a photo of him, gun shot wound and all, in order to believe it, everyone’s favorite mouse, Mickey, was quietly meeting with lawyers, and drawing up the proper papers to trademark the two little words and the one number comprising the stealth band of men that brought down Bin Laden. Which is why, from here on, they will be known as Disney’s SEAL Team 6! Coming to an amusement park near you! Well played, Mickey, well played.

Mickey, the Wizard of Trademarks!

Why did Disney do this? Shrewd business sense, if you ask me. Because now, if anyone wants to make a movie, create a video game, or merchandise anything relating to the SEAL Team 6, they’ll first have to answer to Disney.

Which gives me an idea, why leave the trademarking business to a mouse, when we can do it, too? So I’m getting The Donald to help me.  That’s Donald as in Duck (not Trump, for goodness sakes!).

The duck and I are going to start pouring through mass media and trademark every key word we see—anything that is remotely making news.  I’m savvy enough to know that such words–like Charlie Sheen’s “Winning”–are sure to look ultra cool on a t-shirt, a bumper sticker or adapted into a movie.  We’re going to pour through such bastions of journalistic integrity, as my latest issues of People magazine and Entertainment Weekly, as well as Archie Comics. Ok, maybe this last one won’t help a bit, but, what the heck, I have a weakness for Archie, Betty and Veronica. (My pal, Ruby knows what I’m talking about.).  Here are a few of the terms I already know I’m going to trademark:

The Newlyweds:  Last month, we had the royal wedding. This month, Reese Witherspoon and Blake Shelton tied the knot, though not to each other. So it seems that just about every day another prominent figure is getting hitched which means, inevitably, the word newlywed will appear on some Internet site. Trademark? Check!

Splitsville:  With so many weddings, come the separations—after the honeymoon is over, that is. Seems every week another celeb couple announces they’re splitting up and I’m going to be ready when they do. They’ll have to see me first before getting the green light to use this term.

Green light:  Everyone in Hollywood green lights something at some point.  They’ll have to pay me a residual each time they do! Green light away, my friends!

Jail, bail, DUI, probation:  Lindsay Lohan, Mickey Rourke, and Rick Springfield—look out! You are going to owe me so much money next time!

Defining Moment:  The media love to talk about defining moments, especially when it comes to the office of the president.  Did Monica Lewinsky prove to be a defining moment for President Clinton? Was Hurricane Katrina a defining moment for President Bush?  Was the BP oil spill a defining moment for President Obama?  Every time there’s a new crisis, it is inevitably considered to be a defining moment and, frankly, there’s been too many defining moments. So many that I think it has lost its meaning.  But who cares? I’ll trademark it, anyway!

No-hitter:  Just in time for baseball season. I’m not a fan by any means, but I’ve heard this term before and I expect it’ll be used again. So, who’s ready to hit a no-hitter this season?

Princess Beatrice’s Fascinator: The wedding may long be over, but folks haven’t stopped talking about this incredibly provocative hat and I’m going to be all set for when the movie is made! Let the merchandising begin!

According to the Huffington Post, Disney’s application for the SEAL Team 6 trademark covers everything from entertainment and education services, to toys and games to clothing.  Imagine all the possibilities, then, when I trademark Princess Beatrice’s Fascinator, which already looks like a toy and can most assuredly be turned into a fascinating purse or a divine pair of shoes.  Envision, if you can, when Defining Moment is plastered on a pair of boxer shorts. The applications are endless!  Soon enough, I’ll be reaping in the rewards of my trademark know-how!

So, ask yourself this: Are you as trademark savvy as Disney?  If so, what’ll you trademark?  After all, we can’t let the Mouse have all the fun.

It’s My Birthday!

Today is my birthday and everyone knows birthdays are very special days indeed. Cause for celebration!  Bring out the cake and light the candles!  Get out the piñata! No, wait. Scratch that.  I’m not a kid anymore. Sigh.

And then I was 5.

There’s nothing like being young when it’s your birthday.  The anticipation of the day.  All the birthday cards arriving in the mail, saying, “Now You’re Five!” Or six or seven! The excitement of unwrapping presents! Who can forget their first Barbie? On my 6th birthday I received two! A blonde and a brunette. Yes, birthdays were so much fun then.  What happened?

Oh yes, I remember. We got old. These days, the only birthday cards I get in the mail are from businesses wanting well, my business.  They write such sweet sentiments such as:  “Happy Birthday! Save $5 off any purchase of $50 or more.” Wow, now that’s a gift.

Technically, I am as old as Disneyland and I’m not going to tell you how old Disneyland is.  I was born on a Friday and, according to Mother Goose, Friday’s child is loving and giving.  I was also born on the first day of autumn. Another reason to party hardy.

Bruce Springsteen has the same birthday as me and that makes us kindred spirits. We were both born to run! At least that’s what I believed in my teens and twenties. Now, I’ve got this bum knee that acts up whenever it feels like it, and I’m taking a statin to keep my cholesterol out of the danger zone. And, no matter how many times I get my hair “done,” and ladies, you know what I’m talking about, those blasted gray hairs keep popping up. I doubt Mickey Mouse has the same problems—and he’s 82!

A birthday party with friends, party dresses and cake. What could be better?

So this year, in honor of the day I was born, I’ve decided I’m only going to celebrate my birthday in years where September 23rd actually falls on a Friday.  For those are the only days when it’s my true, honest to goodness birthday.  Which makes me today, roughly, give or take a few, about seven years old.  Hooray, I’m a kid again!

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Ain’t gonna fly. In which case, I’ll also count the years in which the 23rd of September falls on a Thursday or Saturday because that’s close enough to Friday. That would put me in the ballpark of 21, so I can make a toast to myself since, guess what? Today is a Thursday!  Yay, I’ve reached drinking age!  Somebody, get me a Mai Tai. Make it a double!

Wait, I’m getting tired from all this hoopla. Sigh.  At my age, the best gift of all is nothing more than an afternoon nap. And I’ll drink to that!

Disney Trippin’

Disney Mania just hit the Medina household big time. Let’s just say, if you have stock in Disney, you can thank me and my 19-year-old daughter, Sarah, for the increase in value you saw last week. Yes, that was us, spending money hand over fist, as if we’d just received the inside scoop that the world was ending and the only way to save it was to go crazy in Disney World. Our “Lost Weekend” had nothing to do with alcohol, heroin or cocaine and had everything to do with our love for The Mouse.

Mother and Daughter Go Disney!

But I blame Disney. I also blame my parents who’d let me sit in front of the old black and white console, day after day, watching “The Mickey Mouse Show. “ Thanks to watching, “Mickey” and “Mouse” were the first words I learned to spell—and this was way before “Sesame Street.” Who can forget the immortal words from the show’s poignant closing song, which would bring tears to my eyes every time?

“M-i-c (C ya real soon!)-k-e-y (Y? Because we like you!), M-o-u-s-e!”

I’d sob when the show was over and no assurances that it would be back again the following day could stop my wailing. I needed my Mickey fix and I needed it NOW!

Psychedelic Mickey's for sale!

So Sarah and I went on vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Our first visit and I’m here to tell you that the folks at Disney sure know how to pull out all the stops. They work feverishly to take the “hassle” out of vacations by seeing to your every whim so that you love it so much you want to come back even before you leave. For six days we never forgot for one moment that we were in the land of Mickey.

The indoctrination began at the Orlando International Airport which, if you ask me, should be renamed Disney International. From the moment we arrived the Disney staff, I mean cast members, went into hyper-drive to ensure we had a very Disney experience. We were picked up from the airport by Disney’s Magical Express and whisked to our Disney resort.

The magical fun begins on this bus!

No need to wait for luggage at baggage claim! Disney dealt with that trivial matter and delivered our suitcases straight to our room. At check-in we were given a portfolio that contained all we needed for our stay: brochures and maps for each of the Disney theme parks, and a handy dandy key card that not only unlocked our hotel room door, it also contained all our passes to the theme parks, our Disney dining plan and my credit card information that could be used anywhere in Disney World. One tiny card packing a lot of punch!

For better, for worse, the Disney touch was everywhere. Disney songs were piped in wherever we went. The first 10 channels of the in-room TV sets were all Disney-—including a channel on making the most of each day in the parks and another on the weather in the parks (hot and hotter with extreme humidity and a thunderstorm thrown in). Mickey-shaped waffles were served for breakfast. The pool in our resort looked like it came out of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and our hotel room décor was “Finding Nemo.” (We could’ve had a room with a pirate motif but that would’ve cost extra. Arrrrgh.)

Still, my daughter and I were over the moon, ready to embrace it all. We wanted to find the hidden Mickey’s that we were told were secretly placed throughout the parks and resorts. We wanted to go on all the rides, and see the 3-D movies and shows. But mostly we wanted to shop. Some people wait until the end of their visit to shop for souvenirs. My daughter and I are of a different mindset and that’s why I love travelling with her. We say, why wait? Let’s shop now! If the world ends we’ll be fully stocked in our Disney regalia—decked out from head to toe!

My daughter and I having a Disney moment.

Yes, we wore our devotion to Disney on our sleeves. And on our heads and feet. Minnie Mouse ears, Tinker Bell tees, Grumpy sweat pants and Mickey Mouse flip flops. It rained during our trip but that was no problem. We just put on our newly purchased Mickey Mouse ponchos and took out our Dumbo umbrellas, replacing our Minnie Mouse ears with Mickey Mouse baseball caps. Thank heavens for our Disney credit card!

And we were not alone in our Disney fashion. As we walked through each of the theme parks, we noticed young and old dressed as their favorite Disney character–Cinderella, Jasmine, Woody, Belle and the Donald. Duck, that is.

Decked out Disney fans meet Snow White.

Nobody thought twice about the countless newlywed couples spending their honeymoons at Disney World, wearing their matching bride and groom Minnie and Mickey ears.

Whether Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Tea Partier, whether Christian, Jew or Muslim, whether American or just visiting from abroad, we were all there for one reason: to experience the Mouse. There is no Red State or Blue State here. There is only the state of Disney and no one cared about the death-grip heat or the endless waiting on lines. Our end goal was far greater than the sum of these parts.

Us Disneyphiles, we know who we are and any other time of year, we blend in with the rest of you. But at Disney World, we become Mickey and Minnie Mouse wannabees, or Cinderellas or Buzz Lightyears. You get the picture.

So how about you? How do you feel about your Disney experience?