Have an Attorney Handle Your Trademark Registration
If you own a business, your business name, logo, website, and social media are amongst your most valuable assets. Therefore, they should be protected. Neglecting to properly protect your company and products can have expensive consequences. Imagine creating a cool logo and printing marketing collateral just to find out someone else already owns the name. You are now forced to rebrand. That said, let's talk about how to protect your brand and avoid costly mistakes.
What’s a trademark, anyway? And why should I care?
According to Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019), a trademark is a “word, phrase, logo, or other sensory symbol used by a manufacturer or seller to distinguish its products or services from those of others.” The Nike “Swoosh” logo and phrase “Just Do it” are a popular and great example of a trademark.
There are many benefits to trademarking your business. It’s a way to protect your business, products and services and hopefully eliminate or mitigate any confusion in the marketplace. Since the pandemic, nearly 7 million new businesses were formed, and you want to best position yourself to stand out. It’s especially important if your business name is super unique. Trademarking is also important if you plan to expand to other states or take your business nationwide. It is an appreciative asset which means it increases in value as you scale your business. More importantly, the peace of mind you have knowing others can’t profit off your name is priceless.
What should I do?
Before committing to or launching a brand, you should consult with a legal professional. The trademarking process can be confusing and overwhelming. Once you file, you can’t always fix problems in the application. Therefore, it’s important to get the trademark process right the first time. Also, you’ll want to move quickly to prevent someone else from filing under your name. A business attorney can help you secure a trademark and protect your brand in following ways:
1. Review current business assets
2. Help select a name that will be protectable (one that is not too generic or descriptive)
3. Conduct a comprehensive search to make sure your name is available
4. Identify the correct categories of goods/services for your trademark application
5. Craft descriptions of your goods/services that meet the trademark office's requirements
The goal of every business owner should be to protect your brand and your bottom line. Taking these steps will help avoid paying someone else later for access to your namesake and prevent others from profiting off your business name.