Branding is essential to any business. If you already have your name, logo, and tagline, you should protect your intellectual property from getting infringed. To ensure this, you must be aware of the trademark law to avoid trademark mistakes that may cost you in the future.
As a business owner, you probably have an idea about the common law rights for business and branding. However, it can still be quite tricky to register or protect your trademark.
To Eliminate Risks, it’s Crucial to Educate yourself about the must-know Trademark Mistakes and how to Avoid Them. Here are the following:
1. Trying To Do It Yourself
One of the biggest trademark mistakes that most business owners make is not hiring lawyers to handle their trademark needs. While you may understand trademark law, some pitfalls may put you in danger if you’re not guided by a legal expert. For instance, most DIY services may assist you with paperwork, but they can’t provide you with the necessary legal advice to make well-informed decisions.
Working with legal professionals, such as The Kinder Law Group, can help you feel confident about protecting your brand and registering your trademark. In addition, trademark lawyers can provide you with answers, eliminating the need to spend more time searching online only to find unreliable resources. It’s always better to entrust your intellectual property with a professional.
2. Not Enforcing Your Trademark Rights Properly
Your trademark rights may weaken, particularly when it’s inappropriately enforced. If another business uses a logo that’s similar to yours, it may confuse your consumers, which may downgrade your rights.
When this occurs, you don’t always have to file a case to protect your rights. Instead, you may file for a social media takedown, or simply, monitor your brand to avoid trademark mistakes.
The main goal is to impose your trademark rights properly to keep your brand protected. If you have some questions about your trademark, consider getting help from a lawyer.
3. Not Doing A Trademark Search
Another must-know trademark mistake is registering your trademark without doing a trademark search first. More often than not, this can result in legal consequences, especially when there’s a pre-existing, registered trademark similar to your business. If this happens, you might end up changing your brand name or dealing with costly trademark infringement lawsuits.
When you fail to do a proper trademark search, you’re only throwing your money away. To prevent this, make sure to spend time doing research, assuring that there are no trademarks similar to your brand before proceeding to the registration process.
4. Not Registering Trademark On Time
Another trademark mistake that some business owners make is not filing their trademark registration on time. In such cases, this can have serious consequences, affecting your chances of registering your trademark. This may also cost you more money in the process.
If you try to register in advance, you’ll encounter problems like losing money due to filing fees. This is true, especially if you haven’t finalized the brand you’ll introduce to your target customers.
On the other hand, if you register too late, you might lose the chance to register the trademark you prefer. To prevent these inconveniences, make sure to discuss your trademark registration plans with your lawyer and ask for advice regarding the right time to file for it.
5. Not Using The Trademark As Registered
When a trademark registration is approved, the mark should be used in the same way it was registered for all services and products listed on the registration certificate.
Make sure to be consistent in using your logo, mark, and brand. Once you fail to do so, your registration may be canceled or new trademark applications will be required to get filed to avoid trademark mistakes.
6. Not Having A Distinctive Trademark
The trademark of any business should be distinctive. There are several distinctive trademark categories, including descriptive, generic, suggestive, fanciful, and arbitrary.
Trademark applications that use descriptive terms to merely outline the company’s services or products will be rejected. On the other hand, generic terms aren’t eligible for trademark protection because they refer to the general class of services or products instead of a brand and avoid trademark mistake.
For instance, if you’re getting a trademark for a coffee shop, your slogan won’t be considered a trademark. Therefore, your business must select suggestive, fanciful, or arbitrary phrases or words that’ll set your brand apart from your competitors.
To get the best possible results, you can add unique terms to your brand to stand out. It’s also an excellent idea to ask for suggestions from your lawyers regarding what you can trademark.
The Bottom Line
Awareness of the common trademark mistakes won’t only help you save money. It can also effectively help you protect your brand.
Make sure to work with a lawyer and do a comprehensive trademark search. You must also have an idea on how to use your trademark correctly and consistently. All these will help you ensure that your brand and trademark will be protected well.