Protecting Your Product Name – When To Do This & How It Works
You have spent countless hours developing your product. You’ve hire professionals like an attorney to help you set up your business structure and spent a chunk of change to receive help from a CPA to set up your financial structure. You’ve hired an employee to help you develop your product and other professionals to help you market your product. By the time you take your product to market you have spent a good amount of time and money to get there. After an exciting launch your first year, you learn that someone else on the other side of the country has developed a semi similar product and sells the product using the same name you came up with. What gives?! This happens more often than you would think.
This office assists with trademark registrations and trademark enforcement. Here’s an example: I once represented a clothing manufacturing company located in the City of San Diego. After being in business several years with their clothing articles, the company’s officers learned of another company in California selling similar clothing articles using the same company name. Luckily in this case, the client had their name registered on a national level with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). With such registration, we informed the other company about infringement of the name and its unlawfulness resulting in a change in the competitor’s name. Fortunately this matter was resolved quickly before the infringing company affected the clothing manufacturer’s reputation and good will it had developed with its consumers. This result was in response to having a proper intellectual property portfolio.
Before you go public with your work you want to know how to protect the clever name you came up with for your new business idea and product, seek out a consultation with an attorney to learn about trademarks.
A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.
When To Register
It is recommended to submit a trademark registration application as soon as you develop your trade name. However, you can still register your trade name for protection well after the product has been in commerce.
How It Works
Once your trademark is registered with the USPTO, you’re able to monitor and enforce your registration rights afforded you under the Code of Federal Regulations (37 CFR). Learn more about your trademark registration rights and enforcement rights by speaking with an attorney.