Protect Your Firm With Trademarks
Trademarks are very important to business and intricately connected to your growth, especially when you are going global.
Here’s what you need to know about Trademarking your logo, brand, slogan, color, or sound.
Once you have used your mark for business, it is now “in use” commerce. Congratulations! That means that others are able to see and associate your product with it. Caveat: Make sure that your mark is protected from being taken or borrowed by another person or company. The protection occurs by filing the mark with the United States Patent and trademark Office (“USPTO”). Once the application is filed and granted, you are registered and can now use the R with the circle around it. This registration will set you apart from competitors. If the mark is then used you legitimately have your lawyer send a “cease and desist” letter alerting them that if they do not cease and desist that you will file a law suit and seek all of your damages.
Along with protection, registered trademarks add value to your company, its brand and good will which translates to the value of your business. People know and trust you based on your mark. Think of Nike or Starbucks and how you know them. Additionally, since so many people are visual learners, a distinguishable logo will help your customers and clients see that your company and its uniqueness. You and your company are one of a kind and special!
To be transparent, however, the USPTO does not automatically grant the application. The USPTO wants to make sure that there is proof that the logo or mark is actually in use in commerce for the entire 6 years that it grants the registration. Although the trademark will be good for 6 years after registration, you can lose it if you abandon it through nonuse. The USPTO does not want to refrain from allowing someone actually use the mark if you do not. This includes nationally as well as internationally.
Our tip: be prepared to offer as much proof as possible as to when and how you use the mark. Proof includes your use of the mark on business cards, websites, letterhead, etc. Actually use the mark every time you talk or show the company.