Let’s start with the basics…
A trademark is a unique identifier of your brand that helps consumers recognize your product or service offerings in the market and distinguish them from competitors. A trademark can be anything from your business name, to a signature product or offering, to a course name and includes both logos and wordmarks (names). You can also register design marks for design elements, as well as trade dress for things like product packaging.
You should carefully consider a trademark if you plan to offer products or services beyond a hyper-local setting, and especially if you plan to have an Internet presence for your brand.
Registering your trademarks can help deter potential infringers, and can provide a mechanism for legal recourse in the case of infringement. Adding registered intellectual property to your business can increase your brand value exponentially opening up the door to licensing opportunities and more. Crafting unique identifiers, even if they are unregistered trademarks, can also strengthen your brand by setting you apart from competitors in consumers’ minds.
Here’s a quick assessment to determine if you should apply for a trademark registration:
- Are you going to do business in interstate commerce (i.e., selling goods or providing services across state lines)?
- Do you think you may expand your business into another state in the future?
- Do you plan on marketing your business across state lines?
- Does your business sell products or operate a store online?
If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” you should consider registering your trademark.
Because of the complexity of trademark law and the fact that registering a trademark incorrectly could cost you big time down the road, working with a trademark attorney to secure your trademark is always best. Click here to schedule a trademark consult with my law firm Gilormo Law.