As an entrepreneur or business owner, one of the biggest assets we have is our intellectual property – our branding, our business and course names, our original content, our logos, and other original aspects of the company.
In order to protect things like logos, slogans, taglines, business names, and course or product names, I highly recommend beginning the process of filing a TRADEMARK application with a trademark attorney.
Why?? Here are my top 3 reasons:
- BRAND PROTECTION
How much time, energy, and money have you invested into your branding so far? Do you have a logo? Do you have a signature course, program, or product that you are working really hard to grow? Do you want to have actual OWNERSHIP over your business name? If the answer is yes, what you need is a TRADEMARK for each of those things. Owning the trademark in things like your business name, course/product name, and logo give you exclusive rights to that name and logo, and allow you to easily prevent others anywhere in the nation from using anything that is identical OR confusingly similar.
What would that do for you and your business? It would allow you to build brand awareness in your brand. For example, when you see a popular logo…like the Starbucks logo, McDonald’s “M” or Nike “swoosh” — you immediately think of that company, correct? Each of those brands has done a wonderful job in building consumer awareness around their brand and logo, and teaching the public to recognize a specific image as belonging to their company.
What would it do for your business and brand if you were the ONLY one who could use your business name, AND you could prevent anyone else from using not only the identical name, but anything confusingly similar to it? It would make it a lot easier for you to build consumer awareness, and carve out a specific space in the online marketplace, right? If EVERYONE knew that “B-School” was your online course, or “BossBabe” was the name of your company, you’d be able to build a following around that signature brand, and teach consumers to recognize your brand. Because those companies have taken the legal initiative to protect their brands, they now have the EXCLUSIVE rights to use those names.
- EASY TO ESTABLISH OWNERSHIP
Have you ever heard of companies getting into legal tiffs over who created a certain piece of content first (and who copied) or who was the first to use a business name? Often times, when there is a dispute over who was the first to use a certain company name, logo, course name, or other branding element, each company will struggle to pull together evidence of the date in which they first used the name. If you have filed a trademark with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the registration certificate gives a clear date of first use, date of application, and date of registration, making it VERY easy for you to clearly establish your rights, and ensure anyone who attempts to use anything similar to your registered trademark is stopped immediately.
Overall, if you have any piece of your branding that you would like the exclusive right to use, and would like to ensure you are protecting it, I HIGHLY recommend starting your trademark application today! Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on our simple and easy trademarking process.