8 Mistakes Businesses Make with Trademarks and Brands

1. Choose Your Brand Wisely

As a new business owner, select your trademark or brand wisely. This choice needs in-depth consideration because later on in the future, you do not want to have to change your brand name because this can potentially be detrimental to your business.

Replacing your brand name can indeed cost you a lot of time and money. Never let a wrong decision on your brand name force you to rebrand. Never add your product or service in your brand name.

The brand name you choose becomes your best company asset. It is exciting to start a new business with so much to do and think about; however, never let all of this hype deter you from the fact that your brand requires uppermost deliberation.

Items that never, ever go into a trademark is descriptions like “the best,” features, purposes, ingredients, functions, quality of product or service. Devise your trademark name short, sweet, and easy for consumers to identify and remember.

2. Never Complicate Your Trademark

Making your brand stick out in the public eye means you must form an identity with the public. No matter where your brand name shows up, people only need to see the logo to know what products or services are on offer.

Your brand name holds a wealth of power and money for your company. Invent a forceful and robust name that is unique, unusual, and unites it with the public. Moreover, never put yourself in a place where you are forced to change your brand name, especially for legal reasons.

3. Protect What You Worked so Hard to Develop

Chances are if you are smart enough to start a successful business and develop a famous and unique brand; you can act as an attorney. Yes, you can save money by filing your trademark yourself and end up paying only a filing fee.

However, this thinking can put you into a high-risk amount of trouble. Mistakes can cost you more money than if you hired an attorney. Your mistake in not hiring a trademark attorney can cost you more in the future if you make filing mistakes.

Take the time to hire a trademark attorney to help you protect your asset and secure the brand you worked so hard to obtain. A trademark attorney seals your company in the present and future.

4. Did You Forget to do an Extensive Search on Your Company Trademark?

You have figured out your unique brand, but did you do an in-depth search on the brand you chose? Never put the cart before the horse, meaning, don’t invest too much money on your brand before actually knowing if you can file a trademark on it.

Also read: Strategies for Travel Brands on Instagram

Imagine investing heavily on business cards, letterheads, expensive marketing, and advertising campaigns, buying materials for specific promotions… only to find out someone else has registered and protected your brand.

So consider these questions:

  • Are you using an existing registered brand?
  • Did you search through the USPTO trademark database before launching your company?
  • Is your brand too much like another brand or trademark?

5. Do Not File Your Trademark too Early

This mistake is another instance of lack of organization. Never file your brand name until you do other necessary steps such as, creating your company and being ready to sell your goods and services.

If you are selling products through your brand, you can file an “actual use” application. There is also another application you can use that is called an intent to use application. You can submit this application for about six months in advance of actually selling your products or services.

An “intent to use” application requires you to have a robust and unique trademark that is legal in all accounts. Again, make sure that your logo contains no generic words making it a weak brand. You must be ready to sell products and services at the end of your six weeks.

Your trademark rights come about from the selling of your products and services. It is for this reason that you must show evidence of selling before you can legally federally register your trademark.

6. Secure Your Online Presence

The internet age is here and continues to have a fiercely strong presence in the sales industry. Consumers find it highly convenient to buy online from the comfort of their home and in their own time.

Consumers no longer have to drive from one retail store to another, looking for the best deals. It is for this reason that your company’s website and a domain name is as secure as your brand.

Marketing your online presence is imperative to your company’s success due to the ever-growing popularity of online selling and buying. Social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn continue to have a strong presence in the product and services industry.

Also read: How Brands Use Instagram Stories (Infographic)

You must make sure that your brand is available and not already in use on any of these social media sites. You also must check with the Trademark Electronic Search System or Database before launching your company is vital to your business. If you do not check these things thoroughly, you may find that you are infringing on another trademark.

7. Never take Optional Steps for Granted

Even though you do not have to register your trademark, you are at an advantage if you take this critical step.

Registering your trademark tells everyone that you own that brand and no one else can infringe on your name while selling their products and services. It is well worth it to you if you pay the extra fee and register your trademark, making your brand yours.

It is also a recommended best practice to go a step further and have a trademark attorney monitor and watch your trademark to enforce it and detect any potential trademark infringement.

8. Never Make the Mistake to Fail to Protect Your Rights

You have the right to hire a trademark attorney to legally protect all aspects of your company, starting with your exclusive brand.

Protecting your rights means you are protecting your livelihood and your future. It is your right to stop another company from using your federally stamped registration on your trademark.

You have a right to bring legal action against a company using your trademark. You have the right to know what the current laws and practices are in your state and at the federal level.

Also read: Social Media Advantage for Brands

But you only have this right if you previously took the necessary steps to register and protect your trademark.

| About the Guest Author:

Lori Wade is a journalist from Louisville. She is a content writer for who have experience in small editions, Lori is now engaged in news and conceptual articles on the topic of business. If you are interested in an entrepreneur or lifestyle, you can find her on Twitter & LinkedIn. She has good experience and knowledge in the field.

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