I hope everyone is having a wonderful June. Extremely busy here. School is out. Our three teenage sons are all playing summer baseball on high school and college fields throughout the Southeast, swimming on the Rockbridge Swim Team, as well as working, lifting weights, going to Palmetto Boys State, The Naval Academy Summer Session, and trying to get all our fishing gear and boats ready for a week at Litchfield / Pawleys Island. In the midst of all of this, I am working so hard and am presently motivated to get strong and stay stronger than my teenage boys who are closing the gap rapidly. Ask them and they will say they have passed me already. They just can’t “help themselves.”

I am now so old that I actually went to sleep before the end of all three #CWS games between Vandy and UVa. Congrats btw to my child hood friend and now famous Mayor of Greenwood, @WelbornAdams on the Vandy Victory. Check out his Twitter profile and make sure he removes the “long suffering Vanderbilt” claim there. As a music lover, Welborn will hopefully appreciate that in analyzing motive, “we are programmed to receive” (The Eagles, Hotel California), and also the link below which you must read to find and listen to @OzzyOsbourne while still with @BlackSabbath. Listen to those guitar strokes at the start of Hotel California and you will be motivated for something.

The IP Topic You will Not Be Hearing Too Much About Today:

My IP idea for a new blog post was to remind everyone that state trademark registrations, for example as provided for at S.C. Code Section 39-15-10 et seq., pack a strong punch for any registered trademark holder looking to enforce their rights against potential infringers, almost identical to the protections of the federal Lanham Act, excepting federal court federal question jurisdiction, but I just told you that, so let’s examine a more primal issue, namely motive.

Before we move on to motive, we will note here that some in the blogosphere disagree about the benefits of state trademark registration, as compared to federal registration, unless the applicant is operating purely inter-state. As the GEICO ad says, “everybody knows that,” but the point was that a state trademark can still get you these big sticks to swing: (i) statutory authority for an injunction; (ii) attorneys’ fees, and (iii) lost profits as damages, not to mention these 10 benefits of state registration cited here by Maha Jafarey.

Motive / Motivation – Today’s Topic and Definition:

While playing Scrabble with my daughter a few weeks ago and having a blast, we each downloaded the premium $6.99 version of Dictionary.com and loved the features it provided in terms of leaving open our recent searches. Coincidentally, a quick search of the PTO Trademark Search site shows that Dictionary.com is a registered trademark no doubt based upon secondary meaning as it is obviously descriptive. In any event, enough value added on multiple topics, kudos to them on not getting their trademark cancelled yet for speaking out on political issues. Based upon our newfound “trust” relationship with Dictionary.com, which I sincerely hope will never fade away, we will quote their definition of “motive” to set the stage for this post:

1. something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, etc.; incentive.
2. the goal or object of a person’s actions: Her motive was revenge.
3. (in art, literature, and music) a motif.

4. causing, or tending to cause, motion.
5. pertaining to motion.
6. prompting to action.
7. constituting a motive or motives.

verb (used with object), motived, motiving.
8. to motivate.

So what are some of the most common motivators: fear, hunger, power, obtaining money, not losing money, control, loss of control, loss of power, stupidity (e.g., “he just can’t help himself”), etc.

Motive as an Element of a Crime:

TV dramas like Law & Order lead / mislead us to believe that “motive” is an element of a crime. As succinctly stated by our new friends at N.Y. Courts, “intent” is more often the real element of a crime, but the jury want to know why, yes, we all want to know why people act the way they do, RIGHT! Are you with me yet?

Yes, you should be right with me now because what we are talking about is primal, we are uncharacteristically striking at the root of, arguably, all activity on planet earth. Why did the President to do that? Why did the defendant do that? Why did that idiot cut me off like that?

Human nature is to evaluate motives. We want to know are this person’s motives pure? Alas, Wes, are you saying, I am judging? Damn right you are … “You can’t help yourself” and stop kidding yourself to think you are not. How else could you develop a relationship of trust if you did not scrutinize the subject’s behavior. We do this thousands of times a day, right? Did I just over-state the point? Maybe so, if so, can you still trust me or will you pass it off as hyperbole? Maybe I should have said, “do this [millions or billions] of times a day,” to be hyperbole. Over-analysis, right?

In politics, we want to know what was the motivation. Stop kidding yourself, it is power had and used and soon to be forgotten because you don’t trust any of them anyway, right?

Motive in Civil Trials:

Once the prosecutor can convince the jury that the criminal defendant had a motive, then the jury will “trust” the prosecutor and for lack of a better word to describe, infer intent on the part of the defendant. In civil cases, juries also want to know what motivated the defendant to act as he or she did. Generally, the reason of the day in civil cases will be $money$, right?

What about motive analysis in “litigation” … … … Yes that was three ellipsis for emphasis, followed by these three exclamation points !!! Why? why? why? Does he or she need to bill that file ? Is that hair-brain theory going to pass muster with Judge X, what about Judge Y? How will they get that heard by X anyway?

OK, now I will say we evaluate motives in my profession billions of times a day. So what motivates me? As stated in my last post, identifying a client’s path from point A to point B and getting them there or as close to it as we can with available resources. If you are wondering if I just cited to my own blog, I did. Ha, why? Because I can. Heck, it kind of felt good to do it.

So while the judge will charge the jury in a negligence case on duty, breach, causation and damages, the jury will want to know why he had a duty, why did he breach, why is the plaintiff entitled to damages? The jury will also want to know if the jury charge makes sense and will likely take action as they deem necessary to effectuate a just outcome.

Motivation for Whatever:

I often wonder what motivates other people to do what they do even outside of litigation? Yes, I do have a bit of a life outside of work, thank you very much. I would respectfully suggest that an acceptable answer to that is knowledge of the subject matter. For example, I have recently read about nutrition, exercise and health, including specifically Grain Brain by @DavidPerlmutter and The Paleo Solution by @RobbWolf. I am also working through and reading a lot of stuff from @Mark_Sisson and working with a trainer so I can get stronger, live a healthier life, and develop new habits to replace old ones. After all, at 46, I am in my second 1/2, or am I still in the first 1/2 of my life? Which fraction of your life are you in?

In wondering what motivated other people, I used to think why does that person want to get stronger? He or she can already pick up a small car, right? I now have lofty goals for strength, health, nutrition and a better life. Why? Because I am motivated by the information I have learned from others. I want to be a modern day, Iron Man. I am also motivated to know as much as I can about my faith, specifically the life of Jesus Christ. That was a goal I set for myself in 2014. Who he was, what he did and how that impacts me and the decisions I make billions of times a day. Goals and targets give us direction and will keep us moving forward.

What motivates you? Help yourself by endeavoring to answer this question. Isn’t it time we know the answer? O/w, you maybe someone else’s tool!!! “Has [ye] thoughts within [your] head?” If no, you might be Iron Man!!! OK, not exactly poetic or o/w meaningful, but it is classic rock. Oh gosh, gotta go, missed baseball games, but not babygirl’s swim meet.

Content Meter:

Music: STRONG – 1970’s Classic – @BlackSabbath and @The EaglesBand
Legal Stuff: LIGHT
Technical Stuff: LIGHT
Surprises: LIGHT
Length: SHORT 😉
ShamelessTwitterLinking: @BlackSabbath @TheEaglesBand @DavidPerlmutter @RobbWolf @Mark_Sisson @WelbornAdams @ProofofUse @Trademarkology @MaxKennerly @OzzyOsbourne