By: Esqueda Law, PLLC
It is extremely important to conduct a comprehensive trademark search before going into business. Unfortunately, so many business owners get caught out by not doing this.
Initially, these business owners may have done a few searches here and there for business names. Perhaps they checked if the business name was registered. They may have checked on social media to see if anything could be found. Maybe they figure this is enough.
These days, it simply isn’t. There are so many places a business can trade from now. Many businesses have not even entered the world of social media. Perhaps they are trading solely at markets. Maybe they own a brick n mortar store and get all of their business via foot traffic. Or maybe their businesses are run via a mobile service and all of their business comes from word of mouth.
In a larger company example, your proposed business name may be a division or branch off their main company. For example, a tool company may have a product range with the name Powershift Tools. If you were to then go and open an online tool store and call it Powershift Tools, you could be in for a world of hurt.
There is a high chance that a competitor with your proposed business name may already exist. They may have also taken action to secure their trademarks.
This is why doing a basic internet search may not be enough for you to adequately assess the use of your proposed name.
So what’s the best course of action when checking for your business name and trademark?
You should conduct a comprehensive trademark search very early on. This is best done when you are choosing your entity name. The last thing you want to do is register yourself under something, only to find further down the track, that someone has the same name or similar mark.
Companies that took the time to do the research and register their marks correctly can become very aggressive if they find someone infringing on their space. They have spent time and money researching their brand name and working hard to build their business. They do not want someone else to come in and damaging their efforts.
Also, if you happen to choose a trade name or trademark that could be confused with their mark, it could mean you have to rebrand yourself. This could end up being an expensive exercise for you. Not only is having to change your logo and name but in legal costs as well.
So when is the right time to do a comprehensive trademark search? If you haven’t done it already when choosing your entity name, it must be done before you complete your business plan. Using a trademark lawyer for this is also the best course of action to ensure the trademark search is done intensively and thoroughly, the first time.
That way you are sure to be safe when it comes to protecting not only your business’s identity but also your name, reputation, and future as well.
Need to strategize? Schedule a free constellation TODAY. Book a free 15-minute call: HERE Liza Ann Esqueda is a trademark & small business attorney specializing in trademarks, copyrights, and contract templates. Liza Ann runs a virtual attorney, serving clients nationwide.