Trial And Appellate Solutions

Why do new businesses need a trademark?

For many entrepreneurs starting out with their first enterprise, the notion of filing a trademark for their business is not among their priority list of things to do for the success of their business. However, filing a trademark is incredibly crucial step towards ensuring the long-term security of your business and your brand.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is “any word, phrase, symbol or design that identifies your goods and services.” It is something that is indelibly linked to your brand image and which your customers will recognize and associate with you. Classic examples of popular trademarks include the Nike Swoosh symbol, the McDonald’s Golden Arches and the Google logo. Each of these represent a trademarked property of these respective businesses which convey meaning and provide value.

Trademarks are filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office at the federal level, however companies can also file for state trademarks with their state agency, such as California’s Secretary of State. A state trademark provides protection for your brand in your state for a lower fee, but a federal trademark establishes your brands protection across the United States.

Why should you care about it?

When you hold the trademark to something, you have the exclusive right to make use of it in the course of business. One reason brands are so protective of their trademarks is that they hold a lot of influence over potential customers. When a consumer sees your trademark on a product, they will associate that product with your brand and the goodwill you have built around it.

In the even that someone misuses or infringes on your trademark, they are effectively stealing the goodwill that you have created for our brand and appropriating it for their product. This misleads consumers into purchasing a product or service that competes with yours and robbing you of their business.

If you hold the trademark to the part of your brand which has been infringed upon, such as your logo, then you have the right to prevent them from using it. You can do this either through a cease-and-desist letter, or in more serious cases a trademark infringement lawsuit.