Like so many others in this pandemic time, I’m seeking stories on Netflix. Last week I found “Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado”
For those who do not know, Walter Mercado was iconic. He was a popular, flamboyant astrologer who entertained homemakers and grandmas on Hispanic TV.
Since his show was broadcasted through UNIVISION, he was able to reach millions of Spanish speakers every day. His show was watched in the USA, Latin America, including even Portuguese-speaking Brazil.
The documentary acknowledges Walter’s contributions elevating the profile of the gay community in the very macho and homophobic Hispanic culture.
But equally important is the segment of the story showing how Walter Mercado lost the ability to use his own name in front of the cameras. His trusted manager made him sign away his intellectual property FOREVER.
“The story is a cautionary tale for artists, creators, and entrepreneurs”, said Attorney Marcos.
This is a story that keeps repeating over and over, especially in Hispanic communities. Creatives and artists often have little knowledge of the importance of protecting their intellectual property. They found out when a manager, crew member, or team member steals their trademark or other IP rights.
In fact, this is a costly error.
Now back to “Mucho, Mucho Amor”.
Trademarks and Intellectual Property Wars
Luckily, in the case of Walter Mercado, he had a smart and take-charge set of nieces who organized the defense of his name and intellectual property. They hired a competent attorney.
To sum up, the fight proved to be brutal.
It took 6 years for Walter Mercado to regain control of his own name (trademark) and the rest of his IP. The legal fight takes him to litigate country by country.
“The story is a cautionary tale for artists, creators, and entrepreneurs,” said Attorney Marcos.
Important Highlights for the Creative Class by Attorney Marcos
1.-Do not sign a document without fully reading and understanding the content.
2.-Hire your own lawyer to review the materials for you. Your lawyer has an ethical duty to you.
3.-If you are a famous person, your name is your source of income and can be trademarked.
4.-If you are a victim of intellectual property fraud act quickly and hire an IP attorney.
5.-Be realistic. IP litigation is costly and long. It could take YEARS going into the court proceedings.
6.-Finally, it is better to plan ahead than fix mistakes. Have an intellectual property attorney in your team.
Marcos E. Garciaacosta is a multilingual business, immigration, and trademark lawyer. He serves clients in Arizona, the USA, and internationally.
Call us to schedule your appointment at (480) 324-6378. He will guide you and represent you.
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