When is the right time to trademark your business name and logo?

When is the right time to trademark your business name and logo?

By Kristin Naidysh

A trademark is a powerful tool for you and your company. By protecting the brand name or logoon your goods or services, savvy business owners like yourself better protect themselves fromcopycats and consumer confusion. In some cases, trademarks extend beyond names, logos, orphrases, and may include other aspects of a product, such as its color or its packaging.

Luckily, "common law trademark rights arise [up]on first use within a product category orgeographic market [...] This means that if you start selling products under your preferredtrademark now, you can claim ownership of that trademark without formally registering itwith the USPTO." However, common law trademark rights are limited and businesses may put

>span class="line">"It’s a good idea to get your trademark registered [...] because common law rights are limited tothe geographic location in which the mark is used and because registration will help you in caseof legal challenges. Also, if you begin selling products before you have done the comprehensivesearch that accompanies trademark registration—to ensure you aren’t infringing on anothercompany’s mark—you could be exposed to significant legal risk," says Alex Montagu, a NewYork intellectual property attorney.

>span class="line">when you set up your LLC or Corporation with the Secretary of State, because your startupattorney will be able to take care of both items simultaneously. If you have already formedyour business, you can still pursue a trademark registration by calling an attorney familiar withstartups and trademarks, such as Strahan Cain, PLLCin Houston, Texas. While some businessowners may be tempted to try registering their mark themselves, or by going the cheap route>span class="line">trademarks and other intellectual property," says Vijay Toke, co-managing partner of a BayArea intellectual property law firm. "[A] University of North Carolina School of Law study [...]analyzed 25 years’ worth of USPTO data [and] shows that applicants who retained an attorneywere 50 percent more likely to get their trademarks approved than were those who appliedwithout legal representation."

Find a local attorney who has experience with the trademark registration process. Most attorneysprovide free initial consultations, so there is no risk in picking up the phone and discussing youroptions. The bottom line is that a few minutes of your time today may significantly protect yourbrand going forward.

Read More Here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-07-05/when-is-the-right-time-to-trademark-your-companys-name

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