Trademark – first important step to branding
A registered trademark is one of the most important ingredients to branding. Actually it’s the only ingredient. This is why you notice a symbol of a circle with a R in front of many brand names signifying a registered trademark. Sometimes brands use TM for trademark. Before embarking on your vision you need to make sure that the name for your product or service is available to trademark and that it does not infringe on other products and services with the same name.
The purpose of a trademark is to eliminate confusion for two entities having the same name or logo in the marketplace. The United States Patent and Trademark offers registered marks the opportunity to oppose a filing for a mark that could be similar or infringing on the companies identity.
I have encountered several individuals who have consulted with attorneys to trademark their ideas in which the legal representation they paid for duped them into forming a LLC with the name they wanted to trademark. In some cases the attorney’s had trademarked the name that was given and having the client buy the name back from the counsel. Watch out for these types of ill-advised legal actions.
Globol Spin and Making A Brand are registered trademarks. Years after we started promoting our services Sean “Diddy” Combs enterprises used our companies name for a DJ award show, which he promotes. He copied our font and style of our logo. This was a clear case of trademark infringement. Last year he attempted to have Making A Brand un-registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for non-use. Needless to say he lost the case because we showed proof of use before his filing of the mark.
Keep your name protected. It is important to make sure whomever you choose to register your trademark with can be trusted. We do not want you to feel stifled when registering a trademark but aware of being misinformed or taken advantage for the lack of awareness.
Go to uspto.gov and use their TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System) database to see if the name you want to register is taken. Keep in mind that if you don’t see the name you want to register in the search doesn’t mean it’s not taken. Attorney’s most of the time fail to mention this to their clients.