WHY YOU NEED TO TRADEMARK YOUR BUSINESS NAME
WHY YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS WITH A TRADEMARK.
People often associate the term trademark by way of naming examples of famous marks. These marks identify the source of the goods such as McDonalds (and their use of “Mc_____(everything)”. This means a couple of key things. First, the seller controls the reputation of the business so that another business which is named in a similar manner does not damage the reputation by providing goods or services of poor quality. Another key issue is to prevent another business from using your name to promote their business. Essentially, this is called trading off of your business or palming off goods in such a way that one business rides the coattails of another well known business and makes sales due to deception of consumers.
HOW DO I GET A TRADEMARK?
You may already have one! Many people assume they have no trademark because they haven’t filed any forms with the government (State or Federal). This is not true. A business can acquire a common law trademark by using the mark to do business. The business doesn’t have to register the mark. However, common law trademark rights are limited to the geographical area where the mark is used typically.
THE BEST PRACTICE IS TO REGISTER THE TRADEMARK.
By registering with the State of Texas or United States Patent and Trademark Office, you put the State or Country on notice that you have exclusive rights to use the mark to identify your business and the source of its goods and services. This is clearly a good idea if you have plans for expansion into new territories or if you want to protect your business from being copied by others. It is also a good idea so that you can protect yourself from future trademark litigation costs, which can pile up if you find yourself in federal court against a larger company with a seemingly endless legal budget.
If you want to look into your intellectual property rights to discuss any common law trademark rights you may have and to decide whether a State and Federal registration of your trademark is right for your business, call Tim today or email us from the Contact Us page to set up a no cost consultation.