When you are planning a new venture, your business is going to need a name. What’s more, you’re not going to want to sink a lot of time, effort and money promoting this brand until you have it trademarked.
So where do you start? Many people get too attached to a brand they have dreamt up before even consulting a trademark lawyer to see if it has already been trademarked. Worse still, is when someone has already invested in the name of the business for things like business cards, and other branded tools of the trade.
1. Meet with a lawyer
It is vital to the success of any business that you speak with a trademark lawyer to determine that you can and do own the trademark that you desire. Failure to do this can lead to frustration, loss of profit and even a lawsuit filed by the owner of the trademark that is in conflict with your business name or brand.
2. Choose a strong trademark
You don’t want to waste your time with something that can’t be trademarked for any reason, so when choosing the business name or brand that you desire you should make sure that you are consulting with your trademark lawyer at every step.
3. Perform a search for similar trademarks
Once you have brainstormed a few trademark ideas it is very important that you then investigate to see if there are any conflicting trademarks. Your trademark lawyer will be able to research registration records and make sure that there is no reason for you to be in conflict with another company. After all, there could be trademarks that have not hit the market yet, or there could be similar trademarks in place that still prevent your proposed brand from being allowed to trademark.
4. Is the website available
What we mean here is that the domain name needs to be available. You can do a search for this online yourself but there are some best practices that you will need to follow. Try to think about not only getting the domain name that suits your business but also any variations on this theme. You may discover that the domain is already purchased and in use by another company. The internet can also be a good, but not a foolproof way to check and see if the trademark is already in use.
5. Register the trademark
Once you have done all of your due diligence, you will need to instruct your trademark lawyer to register your trademark. It is very important that you have a lawyer that you trust to do this as for the amount of money that you’re going to invest behind this business you need for there to be no mistakes at in this stage of the process.
6. Keep an eye out for anyone stealing your brand name
So far we have only mentioned being defensive when it comes to your chosen trademark and ensuring that you are not in conflict with other businesses. If you find a company that you think is infringing on your trademark then you should forward this information to your trademark lawyer and they will be able to tell you if this is actionable.
7. Let the lawyer do the heavy lifting
You should be focused on your business successfully launching or the product hitting the market on schedule. By having a trademark lawyer that you trust you can be sure that you can focus on the big picture while they take care of the trademark details.