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 Keith Strahan

A trademark is a powerful tool for you and your company. By protecting the brand name or logo on your goods or services, savvy business owners like yourself better protect themselves from copycats and consumer confusion. In some cases, trademarks extend beyond names, logos, or phrases, 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 or geographic market […] This means that if you start selling products under your preferred trademark now, you can claim ownership of that trademark without formally registering it with the USPTO.” However, common law trademark rights are limited and businesses may put themselves at risk by not pursuing official registration.

It’s a good idea to get your trademark registered […] because common law rights are limited to the geographic location in which the mark is used and because registration will help you in case of legal challenges. Also, if you begin selling products before you have done the comprehensive search that accompanies trademark registration—to ensure you aren’t infringing on another company’s mark—you could be exposed to significant legal risk,” says Alex Montagu, a New York intellectual property attorney.

The easiest time to get a trademark for your business is during the formation process, such as when you set up your LLC or Corporation with the Secretary of State, because your startup attorney will be able to take care of both items simultaneously. If you have already formed your business, you can still pursue a trademark registration by calling an attorney familiar with startups and trademarks, such as Strahan Law Firm, PLLC in Houston, Texas. While some business owners may be tempted to try registering their mark themselves, or by going the cheap route through online legal platforms, “it is nearly always better to hire an attorney to handle your trademarks and other intellectual property,” says Vijay Toke, co-managing partner of a Bay Area 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 attorney were 50 percent more likely to get their trademarks approved than were those who applied without legal representation.” vray 3.6 for sketchup crack

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

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