When you start an online business startup, you worry about so many things that you sometimes forget about one very important part- trademarking your brand. You may think that the trademark’s importance pales in comparison to all the other stuff you have to worry about (like actually setting up your page, finding leads, marketing your product and so on and so forth.) but your brand is your intellectual property, after all. And you don’t really want anyone stealing it away, do you?
Protecting your assets means –
- Creating a patent
- Educating yourself about your intellectual property rights (trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets all.)
You can reduce costs by Googling it first (that’s what Google is for after all. Ha.) And it would help to have a lawyer actually working with you to cover all bases.
So yeah, trademarks are important. And if you’ve finally come to accept that, I have listed down some of the tips other successful startup owners have. Pay attention. This ensures you don’t miss out a thing.
Protect your content.
Anthony Saladino of Kitchen Cabinet Kings remind you that it’s important to trademark your brand name and logo. But it’s equally vital to protect your actual web content. Create an account with DMCA and post the badge on your site once you get certified to discourage content thieves.
What would anyone’s life be like without Google, eh? In this case, you want to know exactly where your brand is getting mentioned. Hyper Modem Consulting’s Thursday Bram advice checking Google alerts to make sure you don’t have problems with copyright infringement. It may be a small thing, but it’s a small thing that could be a bigger problem later on if not found early.
Again, you need to safeguard your intellectual property when establishing your brand and Arthur Ebeling of Koi Creative, Inc. agrees. When establishing your brand name, it’s to your best interest to trademark the name and consult with an IP attorney.
Creating a distinctive mark
US trademarks aren’t all equal and the same. The level of protection varies depending on how distinct the mark is. In other words, generic names get less protection than those that are more unique. Think “toothpaste maker” versus “Colgate”. So create a distinctive mark to get the most protection.
Register your Trademark
What else are you going to do about it? Just putting “TM” after the name doesn’t make it so. Go out and register your brand at the US Patent and Trademark Office.
If you have something that’s really revolutionary, you have to go to great lengths to protect it. Just ask Erik Severinghaus of SimpleRelevance. Patents will help you protect yourself from litigation and copycats both.
What else can you do to protect your company? Buy insurance. Patent your idea. Trademark your name. Those are the usual things you’ll hear from a lawyer. But there is something else. It’s simple, too. It’s called an employee handbook. If you have people working for you, you have to make sure you have a plan to protect your brand and the handbook is a great way to start.
Keep an eye out for competitors.
“You can’t protect what you don’t understand.” Words of wisdom from Eric Koester of DCI. And he’s right. So set up a plan to monitor not just your brand but your competitors as well. Google alerts and Twitter searches are simple ways to get that done.
You need a legal division.
Or several different divisions, if you want to listen to Eveflow Internet Marketing’s Phil Laboon. The logic behind it is simple. You don’t want all your assets affected all at the same time if anything negative happens. Creating divisions limits the damage.
It’s important to protect your brand and company in your local setting. But the internet isn’t confined to your home country, is it? Therefore you also need to check international laws if you plan an expansion.
Trademarking your startup is the best way you can protect your business. So don’t be lazy and do it as soon as you can.