If you have a business or a startup, then you want to keep it as safe as possible. Trademark registration is one of the best ways to protect your company’s reputation and it also provides the peace of mind of knowing that you have legal security against infringement.
While trademark registration is a great idea for many people, here are some things to consider before jumping into it.
Make Sure Trademark Registration Is What You Need
You might be thinking that trademark registration is the way to go but you might actually need something different. For instance, a patent or a trade name could be more up your alley than a trademark.
If your business has developed a new invention, then you should be looking at registering a patent. If you have original creations such as artwork or music, then you need a copyright registration.
A trade name will be best for you if you advertise or introduce your company as something other than the business name. A trade name is often paired with the phrase “operating as” and is not always necessary for most businesses. You will want trademark registration if you want to legally protect your intellectual property, including your business name and any slogan or logo that goes with it.
Consider the Costs
Once you determine that trademark registration is the way to go, then you should take the costs into account. It is a good idea to budget for the up-front costs, especially if you’re a smaller business or a startup. These initial fees can seem steep but they are well worth the investment in protecting your intellectual property and keeping your business safe.
While the prices will vary depending on where you live and what you’re registering, remind yourself that this price will carry you through the years to come and contribute to your enterprise’s long-term health and reputation.
Make Sure That No One Else Has Your Business Name Already
Before you actually apply for the trademark registration, you should search existing trademarks to be sure that no one else is operating under your current business name. First of all, you do not want to be cited for trademark infringement; secondly, you do not want to slow down the application process.
The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPCO) does not usually check that an applicant has a unique business name so this is your responsibility.
Take the extra time to be sure that you are not taking a trademarked name from someone else and then you can confidently apply for your own registered trademark.
Realize That Some Names Are Difficult to Protect
Hopefully, you have not had your business name for too long before deciding to trademark it because you want to make sure that the name is trademark-friendly. What this means is that it should be a trademarked name that is easy to distinguish from others.
For example, if you have an entertainment company, then you do not want the name to simply be Fred’s Entertainment or something such as that. It is a name that is way too easy to steal or misuse.
The most trademark-friendly names have little to no meaning outside of their business context and are specific or made-up. The same thing goes for your logo since a very stock type of image is easy to steal or get confused with someone else.
Now that you know a bit more about how to go about the whole trademark registration procedure, you can make more educated choices and hopefully expedite the process. Take your time and do your preliminary research to make sure that you are prepared mentally and financially.