This is a question we get asked pretty frequently, and that is, whether a business should bother registering its trademark?
One of the biggest setbacks for a small business can be if it’s forced to rebrand just after it starts to really build a name for itself. Another huge setback occurs for businesses when other parties see the success a new business is having so they copy the name or branding of the business and start competing in the same space.
Believe it or not, this happens a lot. And one of the ways you can protect your business in either of those two scenarios is to register your trademark.
Registering a trademark gives you a whole suite of protections. But in a world where so much business is done online, registration gives you one huge advantage over trademarks that are not registered. Registering your trademark gives you the ability to enforce your rights online without having to resort to the courts for enforcement. Such enforcement is typically cheaper and faster than judicial intervention, because having a registration number allows you to communicate with webhosts or third-party marketplaces directly to have the infringing (copying) material taken down. More often than not you do not even have to deal with the infringing party.
Not every business needs a trademark, though. If you are a small consulting firm and you are operating under your personal name or something close to it; or perhaps your product name is not really that creative, but more descriptive, you may not need a trademark.
Either way, you should speak with an attorney to see what your options are. Taking a little time up front can really help save you a bunch of time (and money) down the road after your business is rocking and rolling.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris is the managing attorney for the Business Law Division of the firm. He loves working with his team, and loves what he does for the firm. When he’s not working, you can find him hiking or cooking. He enjoys the great outdoors, and the great indoors when he’s making new dishes to try.