Is There A Need For Me to Get A Trademark for My Start-Up Business?
Many big businesses start small. Famous brands started as small enterprises, usually as Mom and Pop stores. However, there is a vast opportunity for businesses to grow especially in this undeniably, consumer-centric world. As such, in order to increase awareness of the general public and improve the community’s perception of a company, many business owners will trademark their brand as they work to grow their business. When you own a trademark of your start-up business, you can eventually expand by branching out, not only in the U.S. but also globally. Owning a trademark can potentially increase your profits substantially.
Here are some reasons why getting a trademark is critical to your business, no matter how small it may seem now.
➤ You need to protect your product or service.
Having a trademark is one of the most important factors in sales. Your brand will carry the mark of your company through this trademark. When selling the product or service, this makes the customer aware of the brand of your business and makes it easier to recall it and spread the logo or feedback about your business through word of mouth. Remember, word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool. If the customer is not aware of your brand, how else can the product or service experience be easily shared to other people? It is through this mark that your brand or service will be recognized. The more people are aware of your brand, the more likely customers will flock to your establishment to try your products or services.
➤ You need to spread the word about your brand in the community.
Let us face it. The world is everybody’s oyster. With the numerous choices available to consumers, they tend to change their minds quite often, hopping from one company to another for the same product or service. Most of the time, consumers will decide based on the logo or brand. The more recognized and memorable the brand is, the greater the chances it will be patronized. It is important for your company to have clear messaging regarding your purpose to the community. This will enable local customers or clients to remember you based on the trademark word or logo. The more visible the trademark image or wording goes, the more the community will embrace the company if there is a positive message. Then, sales normally increase or will plateau.
➤ You need to protect your logo.
Trademarks are a logo, word or phrase that are used through the state or country and the consumers associate that trademark with the maker of the goods or the provider of the service. How large you grow your business is a factor in the coverage of your trademark. You may register it globally to different countries if your vision presents a worldwide expansion. No matter how creative or memorable your logo is, if you do not register a trademark through the United States Patent and Trademark Office, it may not have sufficient protection in place. But, once you register your logo,additional protections are available for your symbol or words. This is one of the advantages when you register your logo. Otherwise, other companies can just as easily take your logo for themselves and they may eventually reap the fruits of your labor when you built your brand.
➤ You need to retain your customers.
Customers will recognize and remember your brand for many generations because of your trademark. If the small business starts losing customers because of another company or some failure of the business, a trademark can reinvigorate these interactions and the logo into the memory of consumers. Be mindful though, when you change your business name or message, you risk losing long-time customers or clients. For this reason, it is important to keep the same logo once you register a trademark. The connection you have established with your consumers is important.
➤ You need to consider the future expansions of your business.
Your trademark gives you the exclusive right to use the logo within the specific geographical region as stated in your trademark registration. This can also give you the opportunity to expand from your local or state specific enterprise to that of a nationwide company. You can also further grow your company to a multinational one, depending on how you registered it. However, this move usually requires that you check the country, where you intend to expand if your current logo is already in use. If it is already in use in another country you are interested in, then you will need to create a unique logo that is in no way similar to another business brand. Otherwise, the other business can sue you for infringement because of the similarity of symbols, words or phrases, which you may or may not have inadvertently used.
➤ You need to know your rights as the bearer of the trademark.
Once you register your logo, it will have state or federal protections based on the registration type. You may not be liable for infringement. No one can sue you or your company for using a similar likeness in logo or wording. In fact, you can seek damages for infringement in order to stop others from using your trademark or making a profit on your logo. However, if you did not apply for a trademark, you may be sued for infringing on another business owner’s brand if you use something similar to their company. This can be a terrible blow on your business, financially. Worse, it may also ruin your reputation.
➤ You need professional legal advice for your business.
The lawyer you hire for your business must be able to pursue situations involving trademark infringement. At the very least, your lawyer must be able to draft a viable cease and desist demand. If necessary, your lawyer must be able to pursue a compensation claim when the other business uses the logo and makes a profit. As such, it is advisable to secure the services of a knowledgeable trademark attorney who may be able to help you get your head around the nuances of trademark and copyright laws. Our trademark attorneys in Washington, D.C. at War IP Law may just be the legal team you need to help you with your brand. Feel free to call our office for an initial assessment of your case.