The following is an edited transcript of my video How NOT to Protect Your Trademark.
Having recorded dozens of episodes on how best to protect a brand and a trademark, I thought it would be fun to share my tips on how not to protect your trademark (sarcastically, of course).
If you don’t care about your brand, you aren’t worried about getting sued, that it might cost you a fortune or be emotionally exhausting to change your name, then don’t worry about picking a unique or creative name.
Don’t worry about searching for any possible conflicts—just pick a name and go with it. Don’t bother to look at anybody else’s.
Whatever you do, don’t file to protect it right away and maybe don’t even ever file to protect it. And if you do file to protect it, definitely don’t worry about tracking the status or worrying about the deadlines for when responses are due.
Definitely don’t worry about using the proper symbol. Maybe just use whatever symbol you think, or don’t use any symbol next to it to denote any kind of special trademark status.
And don’t worry about if anybody copies it. Who cares? Don’t even check. So you come across something that maybe somebody copied, don’t do anything about it.
Of course, I recommend the opposite of everything I mentioned. I say all of this extremely facetiously, of course, because I encounter these things all the time. In working with my clients—who of course are taking great care to protect their trademarks—we come across other brands that are poorly protected or that are owned by someone who clearly hasn’t put any thought into the issue. Maybe they’re not well-informed, or maybe they are well-informed, but they think they can get away with anything and it doesn’t really apply to them. Maybe they know what they could do and should do, but they’re not willing to invest in the protection for their brand.