How to Avoid Wasting Your Branding Efforts by Trademarking Early

Your brand is one of your most valuable assets. It represents your identity, values, and quality in the marketplace. It helps you attract and retain customers, partners, and employees. It differentiates you from your competitors and creates a loyal fan base. But what if someone else tries to use your brand name, logo, slogan, or design without your permission? What if they confuse your customers, damage your reputation, or take away your profits?
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Your brand is one of your most valuable assets. It represents your identity, values, and quality in the marketplace. It helps you attract and retain customers, partners, and employees. It differentiates you from your competitors and creates a loyal fan base.

But what if someone else tries to use your brand name, logo, slogan, or design without your permission? What if they confuse your customers, damage your reputation, or take away your profits?

This is what trademark infringement can do to your brand. Trademark infringement is when another company or entity uses a similar or identical mark in connection with similar goods or services, leading to confusion among consumers. Or worse yet, when you unknowingly use a mark similar to someone else’s mark for the same or similar goods and services.

Trademark infringement can have serious financial consequences for your business. Below, we will go over some of the costs you may face if you don’t secure your trademark rights early, and how trademarking your brand early can help you avoid them. You can also schedule a free, 10-minute consultation to discuss your own trademark needs

The Costs of Trademark Infringement

Trademark infringement can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Here are some of the costs you may face if you don’t secure your trademark rights early:

  • Litigation expenses: Legal fees and court costs can quickly add up during trademark infringement cases. The expenses depend on various factors, such as the complexity of the case, the jurisdiction involved, the duration of the litigation, and the chosen legal representation. On average, the costs of hiring attorneys and pursuing legal action can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Damages and remedies: If the infringement is proven, the court may award damages to the plaintiff, aiming to compensate for the harm caused by the infringement. The damages can be calculated based on various factors, such as the extent of the infringement, the plaintiff’s lost profits, the defendant’s profits derived from the infringement, and any additional economic harm suffered. In some cases, the court may also grant injunctive relief, ordering the infringing company to cease using the trademark immediately. The financial burden of damages can vary widely but can potentially reach millions of dollars in high-profile cases.
  • Settlement costs: In some instances, parties involved in trademark infringement disputes may opt for a settlement outside of court. Settlements can help avoid protracted legal battles and minimize the financial risks for both parties. However, settlements can still come with significant costs, including negotiated damages, attorney fees, and other terms agreed upon by the parties involved.
  • Rebranding costs: Trademark infringement cases can also force you to rebrand your business if you discover that someone else has already registered a similar or identical trademark. Rebranding can be costly and time-consuming, as well as damaging to your customer loyalty and goodwill. Rebranding costs can include redesigning your logo, changing your name, updating your website and social media accounts, creating new marketing materials, notifying your customers and partners, and more.

As you can see, trademark infringement can have a huge impact on your bottom line. That’s why it’s important to trademark your brand early and protect it from potential infringers.

The Benefits of Trademarking Early

Trademarking your brand early can give you many benefits that can help you succeed in the competitive business world. Here are some of them:

  • Protecting your brand from infringement: Registering your trademark with the federal government gives you the legal presumption that you own the trademark and have the right to use it. This makes it easier to enforce your rights against anyone who tries to copy or use your trademark without your permission. You can also record your registration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop the importation of goods with an infringing trademark.
  • Building your reputation and goodwill: A trademark is a powerful communication tool that conveys your brand identity, values, and quality to your customers. A trademark can also help you attract and retain loyal customers who trust your brand and associate it with positive experiences. A trademark can make your brand more memorable and recognizable in the market.
  • Expanding your business opportunities: A trademark can help you grow your business across state lines or internationally. You can use your federal registration as a basis for filing for trademark protection in foreign countries. You can also license or sell your trademark to other businesses that want to benefit from your brand recognition and reputation.
  • Saving time and money: Trademarking your brand early can prevent you from having to rebrand your business in the future if you discover that someone else has already registered a similar or identical trademark. Rebranding can be costly and time-consuming, as well as damaging to your customer loyalty and goodwill. Trademarking early can also help you avoid legal disputes and lawsuits that may arise from trademark infringement.

Trademarking your brand early can save you time and money in the long run. It can also help you avoid legal disputes and lawsuits that may arise from trademark infringement.

How to Register Your Trademark

If you want to register your trademark, you need to follow these steps:

  • Conduct a trademark search: Before you apply for a trademark, you need to make sure that your mark is not already in use by someone else. You can use the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to search for existing trademarks that may be similar or identical to yours. You can also hire a professional trademark search service to conduct a more comprehensive and thorough search for you.
  • Determine what classes of goods and services you are filing in: You need to choose the appropriate category or class of goods or services that your mark will cover. The USPTO uses the International Classification of Goods and Services (ICGS) to classify trademarks into 45 different classes. You can read this blog to learn more about what each class covers.
  • Prepare and file your application: You need to fill out and submit an online application form through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). You need to provide information such as your name, address, contact details, mark description, category, specimen, declaration, and fee payment. The USPTO charges a filing fee ranging from $250 to $350 per class of goods or services.
  • Monitor and respond to office actions: After you file your application, the USPTO will assign an examining attorney to review it. The examining attorney may issue an office action, which is a letter that requests additional information, clarifies issues, or rejects your application. You need to respond to any office action within three months or your application will be abandoned.
  • Publish your mark for opposition: If your application is approved by the examining attorney, your mark will be published in the Official Gazette, which is a weekly online publication of the USPTO. This gives the public an opportunity to oppose your registration if they believe they have a valid reason. Anyone who wants to oppose your registration must file a notice of opposition within 30 days of the publication date.
  • Receive your registration certificate: If no one opposes your registration or if you successfully overcome any opposition, you will receive a registration certificate from the USPTO. This certificate confirms that you are the owner of the trademark and have the right to use it. You will also receive a notice of renewal, which reminds you to renew your registration every 10 years to keep it active.

Registering your trademark can be a complex and lengthy process. It can take anywhere from a year to several years depending on various factors, such as the availability of your mark, the category of goods or services, the workload of the USPTO, and the possibility of opposition or litigation. If you need help with registering your trademark, you can contact us for a free consultation to discuss your needs, or you can click below to start the trademark process right away.

Protect Your Brand Today

$599 Trademark Registration Package

Plus government fees

Package includes:

  • Comprehensive Trademark Search
  • Attorney Consultation Time
  • Drafting and Filing of Your Trademark Application
  • Responding to Non-Substantive Office Actions
Government fees (paid separately upon filing)
  • The government fees are the USPTO filing fees, which are paid to the government. The USPTO currently charges either $250 or $350 per class that you file in depending on the type of filing.

Conclusion

Your brand is one of your most valuable assets. It represents your identity, values, and quality in the marketplace. It helps you attract and retain customers, partners, and employees. It differentiates you from your competitors and creates a loyal fan base.

But if you don’t secure your trademark rights early, you may face costly consequences such as litigation expenses, damages and remedies, settlement costs, and rebranding costs. These costs can have a huge impact on your bottom line and waste your branding efforts.

That’s why it’s important to trademark your brand early and protect it from potential infringers. Trademarking your brand early can give you many benefits such as protecting your brand from infringement, building your reputation and goodwill, expanding your business opportunities, and saving time and money.

If you want to register your trademark, you need to conduct a trademark search, choose a trademark category, prepare and file your application, monitor and respond to office actions, publish your mark for opposition, and receive your registration certificate. Registering your trademark can be a complex and lengthy process, so you may want to consult a licensed attorney who specializes in trademark law.

We hope this blog post was helpful and informative. If you want to learn more about how we can help you with your branding needs, please contact us today.