Protecting your company’s trademarks – brand names, slogan, and logos – is a preventive action akin to insurance.  And since the “brand” is undoubtedly one of the most valuable assets of any business, trademark protection is a wise investment.  If forced to change brand names, how would that impact your business’ marketing,  relationships with customers and vendors, and the bottom line?  Generally, the answer I hear from clients is somewhere between “it would take a lot of work and time and money to change” to “it would have a drastic impact on our bottom line and our success as all of the good will we have developed with customers and all of the marketing we have done would be thrown out the window.”

As a result, preventive measures to protect your trademarks, which both increase the brand’s value and decrease the odds and costs of possible trademark conflict situations, are not only a good investment… it may be reckless to do business without them – like putting all your valuables in an uninsured  wooden shack with no fire extinguishers or sprinklers.

To further this analogy borrowed from Alan Weiss of Summit Consulting, preventive actions are far more valuable than contingent actions taken after that shack is on fire.  Hiring a “fire marshal” attorney to help protect and insure your trademarks up front is a lot more valuable and less expensive than hiring a “fire fighter” attorney to try to put out a fire and make the best of an explosive situation affecting significant assets of your business.

I often help clients as their “trademark fire fighter” when they come to me in the midst of a problem, but the work I do as clients’ “trademark fire marshal” pays far more dividends: building a growing business on atop firm, strong and protected brand with reduced risk of a “trademark fire” is a lot more valuable in the long run than putting out a trademark fire and cleaning up the mess.  An ounce of prevention for your brand is worth at least a pound of a cure.

© 2010 Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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