What to Trademark First?

If you have a business, you probably have a name, a logo, a slogan, or some combination of these elements that identify your brand and distinguish it from others. These are your trademarks, and they are valuable assets that deserve protection. But how do you protect them? And what if you have a limited budget and can’t afford to trademark everything at once?
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If you have a business, you probably have a name, a logo, a slogan, or some combination of these elements that identify your brand and distinguish it from others. These are your trademarks, and they are valuable assets that deserve protection. But how do you protect them? And what if you have a limited budget and can’t afford to trademark everything at once?

The answer is not simple, because every business is different and has different needs and goals. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you prioritize your trademarks and make the most of your resources. Here are some factors to consider when deciding what to trademark first:

  • The strength of your mark. A strong mark is one that is distinctive, memorable, and not descriptive or generic. A strong mark is easier to protect and enforce, and can create a stronger impression on customers. For example, “Apple” is a strong mark for computers, because it has nothing to do with the product or service. On the other hand, “Computer World” is a weak mark for computers, because it is merely descriptive of the product or service. If you have a strong mark, you should trademark it as soon as possible, before someone else does.
  • The scope of your protection. A trademark registration gives you the exclusive right to use your mark in connection with the goods or services that you specify in your application. The more goods or services you cover, the broader your protection will be. However, the more goods or services you cover, the more expensive your application will be, and the more likely you will face objections or oppositions from other trademark owners. Therefore, you should focus on the goods or services that are most important and relevant to your business, and that you actually offer or intend to offer in the near future.
  • The risk of infringement. A trademark infringement occurs when someone else uses a mark that is identical or confusingly similar to yours, in a way that causes confusion among consumers about the source or affiliation of the products or services. Trademark infringement can harm your reputation, sales, and goodwill. Therefore, you should trademark the elements of your brand that are most likely to be copied or imitated by others, especially your competitors. For example, if you have a unique name and a generic logo, you should trademark your name first, because it is more distinctive and recognizable than your logo.
  • The value of your brand. A trademark registration can increase the value of your brand, especially if you plan to sell it or license it in the future. A trademark registration can demonstrate the goodwill and reputation that you have built over time, and attract potential buyers or investors. A trademark registration can also increase the chances of getting financing or funding for your business. Therefore, you should trademark the elements of your brand that are most valuable and profitable for your business.

These are some of the factors that can help you decide what to trademark first. Of course, there may be other considerations depending on your specific situation and objectives. The best way to determine what to trademark first is to consult with a trademark attorney. Contact us to learn more about trademarking and protecting your brand.