True Story: Some friends opened a new business a few years ago. They had a smashing idea, a great product, and a solid plan to launch their new company to the public. They selected what they thought was a name that represented their company well and hired a graphic designer to create their logo.
Their new business opened big: website, storefront, advertising campaign, targeted marketing, business cards, and a brand book which tied all of their communication pieces together.
And then they got a nasty infringement notification in the mail. Unfortunately, the one thing they didn’t do prior to opening was to check the name of their new company against already registered trademarks. My friends found out the hard way about how important it is to perform the foundational research before finalizing the logo on the letterhead. In the end, they had to start all over with their company – new name, new design, new branding materials. Wasted time, wasted effort, and wasted money was not the grand opening they were hoping for. But they did learn two things: 1. the value of a trademark and 2. to speak with an attorney when starting a business.
What is a trademark and why should you register it?
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A trademark is why you immediately associate a brand with the good will that accompanies it. Consider the Nike Swoosh or the Apple bite. Consumers around the world recognize those logos and the quality of products.
Why should you use an attorney?
An attorney experienced in trademark filing and intellectual property can broadly search and analyze your proposed mark, identifying potential conflicts for infringement, and save you costly errors from the outset. An attorney can also successfully prosecute your application with a much higher success rate than an individual filing. An attorney is also critical for enforcing and protecting your mark. The best time to get a trademark attorney is prior to spending money and resources on your brand.
Contact Bracepoint Law for any questions regarding your mark that you have.
Written by Katrina Brede