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Maryland Entrepreneur Faces Lawsuit for Using the 'E' Word

A media company aimed at entrepreneurs is suing several budding business owners for using the word "entrepreneur" in their ventues, citing trademark infringement.

A Maryland entrepreneur once featured in Entrepreneur's StartUps magazine is now being sued by the magazine for using the E word -- entrepreneur -- in her TV show, reports the Baltimore Sun.

Janice McLean Deloatch of Abingdon took what she learned from a failed business that dispensed pantyhose from vending machines to create "The Entrepreneurs Edge," a monthly public access cable program offering advice for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The magazine's parent sued McLean Deloatch for using the word "entrepreneur" in the show's title, the newspaper reported.

"They can't monopolize a word that's used in everyday language," McLean Deloatch told the Sun. "That's in the dictionary."

Apparently, the company can try, and McLean Deloatch is among the entrepreneurs sued by the California-based media company for trademark infringement, the newspaper said. Entrepreneur Media Inc. maintains that it has used the Entrepreneur mark for more than 30 years and doesn't want consumers confusing its brand with others using similar names.

Trademark experts told the Sun it's not unheard of for commonplace words to be trademarked.

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