Since I began working in the field of trademarks I have seen and heard a lot of myths and misconceptions about trademark protection. Here are some of the most common ones:
- “Trademark protection will cost my business a lot of money, and we can invest that in more important ways.”
- This misconception is wrong because (A) trademark protection does not have to cost a lot of money, especially when working with a flat fee boutique firm, and (B) the expenses of re-branding, or dealing with a trademark dispute, are far greater than the investment in protecting and building a solid brand foundation, and few things are more valuable to most businesses than their brand.
- “We didn’t protect the trademark when we started, so now it is late.”
- This myth is incorrect; it is never too late to seek trademark registration. Yes, earlier protection is better than late – but late protection is better than never! A trademark registration can last for a long time (technically, forever), so it is never too late to solidify the brand’s protection.
- “I have a trademark registration, so I can stop anyone from using the name.”
- A trademark registration is a valuable tool, and can often stop others from using a confusingly similar name. But unless the other business is in your industry and adopted the name after you*, you may not be able to stop them. That is why potential infringement situations should be handled delicately and by experienced counsel.
* This is an oversimplification; there is a lot of nuance and the facts of each scenario are unique, of course.