I was jealous of Pat Riley in 1989 when he coached the LA Lakers to a third NBA championship and used the word “threepeat” to describe it. Catchy and wacky. But not only did he use the word, he trademarked the word! Trademark a word!? He actually collected royalties from clothing manufacturers who used "threepeat" on T-shirts and hats.
About 20 years later, I came up with some words and phrases related to wellness and ran them by a patient who was a trademark lawyer. He offered to help me with the process and I can now say that I own three trademarked words or phrases, a threepeat of my own. (At quite a cost, I might add!)
1. Prevent Not Stent (TM)
This phrase came to me a few years ago and was the first I trademarked. It's a bit self-critical: I am an interventional cardiologist who places heart stents. As such, I am well aware of the miracle heart stents have been for many, as well as their overuse (as high as 80% according to some). Until preventive medicine is appreciated and reimbursed, procedures will trump plant-based diets.
2. Interpreventional (TM)
This one seemed too obvious to have never been used before, but a search indicated that my play with words was unique. I am an interventional cardiologist who teaches preventive approaches as the first line for most patients, so the combo was a natural. It's on my business card and doctor coat and should be the credo of all doctors trained to do procedures of any kind.
3. Healthspital (TM)
How can anyone disagree with the notion that hospitals should be a showplace for healthy living? A place where healthy food, movement, and stress management is built into the system for guests and workers? Would you tolerate your accountant counting on his fingers? My goal is that one day there is an American Healthspital(TM) Association of healthy places of healing.
Before I leave trademarks, how about some feedback on other words I use? Is it worth trademarking Inflammeation? Anti-Eggxidant? Veggan (egg eating vegans)? Vegasm? Kallejuah? Chewdiasm? Re-Ombursement?
I think I'll stop at three....
Shifting gears, some ideas for how we talk about our personal food choices.
Many years ago, I made a quiet decision to stop eating dairy, eggs, and all forms of meat and fish. Instead I eat mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. I was inspired by scientific research published by Dr. Dean Ornish and books by John Robbins.
Why the label vegan? Why didn't this lifestyle make me an Ornishite or Robbinish? Or simply, "a cardiologist who eats plant foods"?
It turns out that back in 1944, an Englishman named Donald Watson formed the first society dedicated to promoting a lifestyle free of all animal products. Starting with the word vegetarian, he took the first three letters and the last two letters to coin the word vegan. (Perhaps he should have trademarked it!) He formed the Vegan Society and stayed true to his passion until he died in 2005 at age 95.
Since then, many have struggled coming to terms with the word vegan.