I’d like to give a big shout out to Mike Halvorsen, who has written an excellent post on his Columbus SEO blog that reveals some of the desperate measures some Columbus SEO wannabes are willing to go to in order to compete in the Columbus, Ohio SEO market.
Mike’s post, titled SEO Columbus, documents some of the ridiculous emails he received from a guy named Joe Rozsa, who tried claiming that he owns the trademark rights for SEO Columbus, and therefore Mike was not permitted to use that phrase on his website. Anyone who has researched trademark law for more than 30 seconds can tell you that “SEO Columbus” is not an enforceable trademark. It is an example of a generic mark, which is provided ZERO legal protections whatsoever. Here’s an excerpt from Gimme Law:
Generic Marks – Generic marks are trademarks that merely denote the product itself, rather than the source of the mark. Generic trademarks are never entitled to trademark protection. One cannot claim the word â€œCarâ€� as a trademark for an automobile. The policy is simple: granting a trademark for a generic term would remove that term from the public lexiconâ€“thereby excluding the public from its use.
Basically, Joe Rozsa wouldn’t be able to take legal action against anyone, even if he did register the trademark SEO Columbus–but according to the USPTO database, it was never registered in the first place.
In my opinion, Joe Rozsa is an asshat. And unlike Joe’s made-up trademarks, my opinion is legally protected. So at this time, I’d like to exercise my constitutional right to express my opinion of Joe, by publishing the image below. I am releasing this image under a Creative Commons license, so feel free to use it.
2/23/2011 UPDATE: Here’s another example of someone artistically expressing their opinion of Joe Rozsa, Asshat SEO Columbus. This beautiful artwork was created by Matt Edward, founder of the Montreal SEO company, Springboard SEO, in his post titled: Mike and Joeâ€™s Big Online Reputation Mis-management Adventure.
Oh…and also, there’s this…
6/2/2012 UPDATE: The previous version of Joe Rozsa technically contained adult material and was inappropriate for Google’s SERPs, so I modified the image to be more child-friendly.