In this episode of Ask Jade, Attorney Jade Carpenter of Jade Law Office explains trademarks and why you may or may not need a trademark for your small business. Jade is the attorney for the everyday entrepreneur. www.jadelawoffice
Hi everybody! Welcome to another episode of Ask Jade. In this episode I am going to cover trademarks.
Business owners often ask, “Does my business need a trademark?” It is a great question. So why don’t we start off with defining a trademark?
A trademark is a word, logo, phrase, symbol, or design used to brand and distinguish a good from all other goods. A service mark is a word, logo, phrase, symbol, or design used to brand and distinguish service from all other services.
People typically use the term trademark to refer to both service and goods, and they essentially are both trademarks.
The overall purpose of a trademark is to protect customer confusion. I will address that later.
You are not required to register for a trademark. Trademarks vest once they are in commercial use. So, you do not actually have to register a trademark to essentially have one. If you are using your brand or logo in commerce you, from that first date of use, have rights.
However, registering a trademark makes it easier to enforce and obviously offers much wider protection. Your business name itself is important. Your business name is vital to your business. It is how others will identify you, is part of your branding, is how others will view your business and associate your goods or services with your business. It also has the power to make or break your company.
Your business name and how well you present it alongside your logo, your brand colors, your slogans, or your tag line is how you set yourself apart from other businesses in your industry.
Your business name becomes a major part of your company’s identity.
- It defines your brand and what people think and feel when they hear your business name.
- It helps create loyal customers and new opportunities.
- It tells customers what to expect from you while also making you stand out from your competitors.
The Benefits of Trademarking
The main purpose of trademarks is to prevent confusion. But there are many benefits of trademarking your business name, your logo, your phrase.
Helps avoid or bring legal action.
- Registering your business name for trademark allows you to prevent others from using the same or similar business name within your industry.
- It puts others on notice when you register your business name and if someone infringes on our trademark you can easily file legal action against them to protect your name, identity, and brand.
Protects your sales by preventing customer confusion.
- With a trademark, customers are not out there buying some other product that is uses a similar name or identity thinking that it is yours.
Boosts your national recognition.
- A trademark provides national protection and then by default national recognition because you are registered nationwide.
Supports your funding efforts.
- If you are seeking additional funders for your business, it will encourage those funders to invest and it also helps provide them with proof of ownership.
- In some cases, investors require you to obtain a trademark before they will invest.
There are some basic steps to registering a trademark and the first step is, of course, consulting an attorney such as myself. So, if you have additional questions or want to move forward with obtaining a trademark, I would be happy to help – contact The Law Office of Jade Carpenter and see ya next time!
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The materials available at or within this article and video are for information purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should ask an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue of problem.