Does my start-up business need a trademark?

All big businesses start small. Famous brands started as small enterprises, often as Mom-and-Pop stores. There is endless opportunity for businesses to grow in this consumer-centric world. As such, many business owners want to quickly increase the public’s awareness and improve the community’s perception of their brand as they grow their business. Trademarking you brand is one of the best ways of doing that early on.

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.

Let’s face it. The world is everybody’s oyster. There are numerous choices available to consumers. They change their minds often with little thought.

But you can build brand loyalty. Most of the time, consumers make purchasing decisions based on branding. The more recognizable and memorable your brand is, the greater the chances it will be patronized.

It is important for your company to build consumer goodwill with good messaging centered on a great brand. Consumers will remember you based on your trademark. Make it highly visible wo the community will embrace the company if there is a positive message.

Once you have a great brand idea, consider protecting it with a federal trademark registration so that no one else can appropriate the goodwill that you are building.

➤ You need to spread the word about your brand in the community.

A good trademark is one of the most important factors in sales. Your mark represents your brand. It identifies your company as the source of the product. A good brand makes an impression on the customer and makes them aware of your business, and it makes it easier for the customers recall it and spread the word about you and your products.

Word of mouth is powerful advertising. If consumers are not aware of your brand, how can they find you? Let alone share your product with others? Your mark will make your brand or service recognizable. That recognition will build awareness, and, in turn, generate sales.

➤ You need to protect your logo.

A good brand is more than just a good name or slogan. The logo also plays a pivotal role in building your brand, and it is also protectable as a trademark. 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. Otherwise, other companies can take your logo—or use a confusingly similar logo—and reap the fruits of your labor.

➤ You need to retain your customers.

Customers will recognize and remember your brand for years to come because of your trademark. Even if your small business starts losing customers, a good trademark still has value because it can reinvigorate the memory of consumers.

Be mindful though, the connection you have established with your customers is important.. When you change your business name or message, you risk losing long-time customers. IThere is value in keeping the same logo once you register a trademark.

➤ You need to consider the future expansions of your business.

Registering a trademark gives you the exclusive right to use your mark in the United States. Having federal rights to your mark gives you the opportunity to expand from your local or state specific business to a nationwide enterprise.

If you have ambitions to expand internationally, there are options to protect your mark abroad as well. It is advisable to make sure that your mark is available in any countries where you may be using your mark to ensure that you have the rights to use the mark in that country.

➤ You need to know your rights as the bearer of the trademark.

Once you register your trademark, you can seek damages for infringement and stop others from using your trademark—or any confusingly similar mark—in the United States.

If you did not register your trademark, you may be sued for infringing on another business owner’s brand if you use something similar to their mark. This can be a terrible financial blow to your business.

➤ You need professional legal advice for your business.

The lawyer you hire for your business must be able to advise on a good strategy for registering and enforcing your trademark rights. If necessary, your lawyer must be able to pursue an infringement claim if another business uses your mark. As such, it is advisable to secure the services of a knowledgeable trademark attorney who can help you get your head around the nuances of intellectual property 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 consultation.