Protect Your Brand in Five Easy Steps


You put so much effort into building your brand name. Here are five easy steps to protect it:

  1. Make a decision on registration. You can only use “®” sign after the mark has actually been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The registration is not required. Use “TM” immediately following the mark until the mark is registered with the USPTO to provide a notice to others about your common law rights to your mark. Use either sign you chose consistently.

  2. Make it stand out. Use formatting to make your mark stand out from the rest of the marketing text.

  3. Be consistent in how you present your mark. A trademark (applied to goods) should be attached to the goods (think labels or tags. A service mark (applied to services) can be used on marketing materials promoting the services.

  4. Adjectives only, please. Avoid using your mark as a noun or verb, stick to the adjective only followed by the generic noun. For example, "Uber ride share service", not "ubering home is convenient". You see where I am going with this (avoid making your brand name becoming a generic name for certain service or product. For extra points, avoid plural and possessive forms.

  5. License the use of your mark properly. If you give somebody else a right to use your brand name (in a joint marketing effort, for example), make sure you have a licensing agreement protecting your rights. Call your trusted outside general counsel to prepare a proper agreement for you.

#trademark #license #intellectualproperty #outsidegeneralcounsel #eastwestgeneralcounsel

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