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What is your opinion of this conundrum (I just like the word)

Posted Thursday, December 2, 2010, at 7:50 AM

First - a conundrum by definition on dictionary.com is a confusing and difficult problem or question.

Now the conundrum. Say I own a business that helps women find just the right dress. Other companies are now wanting to do that but they want to use my service to advertise their service which competes directly with mine.

Do I have to let them on my service? Should government interfere?

If I do, should I give them equal access?

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Steve, you should print a Terms agreement allowing use of your service as long as it shows your address and credit and of course no changes in the wording, conditions, etc. You would print your rights in the Terms, protecting you and your service, but limit their rights of use.

You could also password protect your service if we are talking about an internet service.

By allowing others to use your service, but giving credit to you for the service, these competitors become your silent salespeople advertising your service.

You could also rent the use of your service, so they can't continue using it as their own.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Sat, Dec 4, 2010, at 2:24 PM

I will do a separate post so it gets new attention.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 4:00 PM

This has nothing to do with the subject at hand, but I thought I would write this on here, hopefully to help a poor animal:

On Frank Martin Rd, there is a brown, lab looking dog that seems to be lost. He has been wondering around the houses and sleeping in the front yards for the past couple of days. He has an orange collar on him and seems very friendly, so I know he is someone's pet. If someone is missing their dog or knows who pet this is, please let them know where he is. It is going to be getting cold here at nights and this poor sweetheart needs to be taken home.

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 3:44 PM

"And I totally agree with the suggestions of lazarus...although after seeing some pictures on the people of walmart site, you should be careful of who you suggest these things to."

sometimes thom and i see eye to eye. after considering his input, i think there are probably some circumstances that would warrant recommending a burqua.

just be judicious. remember, you are only doing your part to beautify america.

-- Posted by lazarus on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 3:31 PM

I agree that I should not be forced to let someone on my service but I wanted to see what others thought.

As far as the style of dresses, I can't touch that subject. Deb does not read these blogs often but she probably would on this one.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 12:13 PM

Steve - The first two questions you should be asking are: Would providing this service to other companies provide more income than you are receiving from providing this service directly?

Also, would their target client be someone that you would have targeted?

If the answer to the first question is yes, or the answer to the second question is no, or both, then by all means, license it and let them use it. Particularly if it will mean more income wil be generated from a previously untapped market.

Additionally, no, the government should not interfere (net neutrality?).

And I totally agree with the suggestions of lazarus...although after seeing some pictures on the people of walmart site, you should be careful of who you suggest these things to.

-- Posted by Thom on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 12:05 PM

i hope you are recommending lots of short dresses with plunging necklines.

-- Posted by lazarus on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 11:56 AM


No, you don't have to let them on your service if you designed it or purchased rights to use it.

The other companies that want to use your service will actually be worth more then providing the service to the women looking for the dress. Basically you would be a license holder that would be leasing out the idea.

You best bet would be to trademark it and copyright the process. Definitely consult an IP lawyer. You could have a goldmine and not realize it, Steve.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 11:35 AM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.