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Rolling Out Six Sigma – Legal Reqirements

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  • #32070

    Mauricio Hinojosa
    Participant

    What are the legal requirements to roll out Six Sigma in my company?  Do we need to purchase rights to the methodology or can we just hire a couple of Master Black Belts and Black Belts to accomplish this?  Can we just hire people from Motorola or GE and roll out the methodology?  If so, are there any legel requirements as to rolling out the methodology with this new certified employees?

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    #85215

    Ronald
    Participant

    The only legal issue would be to not “use” someones training material. You would have to develop your own or license the material from someone. You can hire whomever you like unless your company has some agreement that they cannot hire from another firm.  feel free to drop me an email [email protected]

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    #85295

    Bobby
    Participant

    Mauricio,
    My understanding is that Six Sigma, as a name for a quality program, is trademarked.  While you can use the phrase Six Sigma to describe the methodology, you company would need to identify their quality program by another name or pay for the right to use Six Sigma as a program name.

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    #85296

    Ropp
    Participant

    Bobby –
     
    Who is that owns this suppossed trademark?
    Not a lawyer, but I think in order to protect a trademark, you must challenge all unauthorized use or it passes to public domain. Perhaps the six or seven authors whose books I can see on my shelf right now paid the suppossed owner of the mark?
    I think if it ever were trademarked (by Motorola?) , it no longer is enforcable.
    The training material is another issue.You must develop your own, substantially change or credit the original source as the case may be.
     
     

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    #85300

    Trev
    Member

    Dave,
    I think you hit the nail right on the head with your answer.
    Trev

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    #85337

    Bobby
    Participant

    Motorola is who I heard.  As far as enforceability, you would need to consult your lawyer.  I am certainly no lawyer.
    As far as training materials, there are two ways you can go.
    One, you most likely can purchase existing training materials from GE, Motorola, etc, if you are willing to pay their price.
    Two, if you use a group (George, Pivotal, Leap, BMG, etc) to conduct your training, you would probably be able to purchase their materials or develop your own with their assistance.

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    #85346

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    The Six Sigma Academy holds BB and GB rights.   They have been pretty dogged in enforcing claims to the terms, “BB” and “GB” among others.
    My $0.02
    -Heebee
     

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    #85350

    Digital Abyss
    Participant

    Motorola has a trademark on a “stylized form” of the words “SIX SIGMA.” They do not own the phrase itself. If you want to use the same “stylized form” of the words to describe your six sigma program, then you would owe something to Motorola.
    You can get to the US Patentent Office website through the link to the left, “New To Six Sigma.” Go to the ‘History of Six Sigma’ article. You can follow the links to the patent office website. There are several versions of “stylized” six sigma trademarks registered by many different companies. If you are unsure of your rights or liabilities, talk to a patent attorney.
    But don’t take my word for it, I am not a lawyer. 

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    #85352

    Digital Abyss
    Participant

    I’m not sure this is entirely true. I can’t find any reference to Six Sigma Academy having registered trademarks for either “Green Belt” or “Black Belt” at the patent office website http://www.uspto.gov/.
     

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    #85353

    Heebeegeebee BB
    Participant

    Per the USPO:
    Typed Drawing

    Word Mark
    MASTER BLACK BELT

    Goods and Services
    (ABANDONED) IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Educational services, namely, classes, seminars, workshops, and training sessions in the field of quality control, business performance, and business management. FIRST USE: 19940930. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19940930

    Mark Drawing Code
    (1) TYPED DRAWING

    Serial Number
    75426763

    Filing Date
    January 31, 1998

    Published for Opposition
    June 6, 2000

    Owner
    (APPLICANT) Sigma Consultants, L.L.C. LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY ARIZONA 8900 East Pinnacle Peak Road, Suite 205 Scottsdale ARIZONA 85255

    Attorney of Record
    MARVIN A GLAZER

    Type of Mark
    SERVICE MARK

    Register
    PRINCIPAL

    Live/Dead Indicator
    DEAD

    Abandonment Date
    August 31, 2001
     
    Same for BB.

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    #85388

    Digital Abyss
    Participant

    Yes. Notice also that it says “Abandoned” and “Dead” meaning they never completed the process and the file is now considered closed by the patent office.
    Still, the patent application was not for the term “Black Belt” or in this case “Master Black Belt” but rather for the distinctive “drawing” (in this case, probably a particular font and style) of the words “Master Black Belt.” 

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    #85467

    reinaldo
    Participant

    When the words used in any title or discurs (it’s an universal right) are common terms, like six and sigma, any person in the World, can use them, as needed.
    I could use SIX SIGMA REINALDO as my right of citizen of this planet and nobody can claim any right on it!

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    #85469

    reinaldo
    Participant

    There are 88 patents on the terms SIX SIGMA since 1976 in https://www.isixsigma.com/offsite.asp?A=Fr&Url=http://www.uspto.gov/
    The next will be SIX SIGMA REINALDO!

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