Here are relatively simple tips for avoiding trademark pitfalls. A failure to follow any one of these steps greatly increases the odds of problems, delays, and/or additional expenses.
- Choose a name that is creative. In other words, not boring or descriptive or generic.
- Clear the name with a proper search to ensure that it is unique in your industry.
- Register the trademark with the USPTO.
- Deal with any potential infringements quickly. The more investments of time and money someone puts into using a name, the more attached to it they become and the more complicated getting them to stop is likely to be.
- Use an attorney for #3, #4, and #5. Doing these things properly, with experienced counsel, is much more effective and likely to be less expensive in the long run than if they are done without counsel and with mistakes.
Trademark protection and trademark law is full of grey areas and complicated disputes, but by following these five steps, a brand owner is far less likely to encounter the uncertainties and increased expenses of these grey areas.
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