I have so many tips about trademark protection that I could write a book. In fact, I have written a book, and you may have heard of it, called Building a Bold Brand. But right now I want to give you 20 quick trademark tips. And, really, on each of these topics I could do an entire video and, in fact, on many of these topics I have done a video.

  1. Search before committing to a name.
  2. File early. It’s always better to file early.
  3. File the name and logo separately. The name is generally more important than the logo.
  4. Creative names are always better, always better for legal protection, always better for standing out from a crowd.
  5. The USPTO.gov website has a wealth of resources.
  6. TEAS Standard applications are generally better and less restrictive than TEAS Plus applications.
  7. Watch out for those scams. They come when you’re least expecting them, and they catch people all the time. Watch out for the scams.
  8. Docket your renewal deadlines as soon as possible. If you have registrations and you haven’t docketed the deadlines, stop this video and go docket them now. If you don’t have registrations yet, as soon as you receive a registration, docket the renewal deadline.
  9. Revisit your portfolio every January. It’s a good time to look back, see if there’s anything that you should file for that hasn’t been filed for, if there are any renewal or other deadlines coming up in the next few months.
  10. Use Google Alerts as a free way to monitor your trademarks and brand.
  11. Use the r circle, the trademark registration symbol, where applicable.
  12. Don’t try to do it yourself. It’s complicated and mistakes can be costly, both literally and figuratively.
  13. If you do business abroad, explore whether international protections are appropriate for your brand.
  14. Buy corresponding domain names. Even if you don’t use them, the value in making sure someone else doesn’t get them will save you money and save you peace of mind.
  15. File an application early. When filing an application, the important part is the start of the process, the filing date, not the end of the process. Registration takes a year on average, but starting the process is the important date.
  16. In an application, pay attention to the description of goods and services. It is very important and defines the scope of your protection.
  17. If you discover infringement, contact counsel and act quickly. The longer someone uses a name, the more invested they are likely to be in it both financially and emotionally, and thus the harder they’re likely to fight to defend it.
  18. Ensure that your agreements with employees and contractors have sufficient intellectual property clauses.
  19. Keep records related to your trademark of when you come up with the name, when you file to register for the name, when you first making sales with a name or logo or other trademark. Having such records could save you tons of time and headaches in any future disputes over the trademark.
  20. Be bold. Bold brands are far more effective in standing out from the crowd and obtain better trademark protection legally.


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