Creating a strong brand in the eyes of your audience can be the difference between building your business to unimaginable heights, or sinking your ship before you even get started.
Trademarking: What A Trademark Can Do For You What does trademarking do? It ensures your brand name, brand logo/design is unique to you. It’s brand GOLD. It gives you the green light to take legal action on anyone who attempts to pass of your brand as their own.
You can apply online, link here. Be prepared to pay for the application. Trademarking a single brand name or logo will cost you anywhere between $225 to $400. And, that’s just for the application!
Before you get ahead of yourself. Yes, your name or design is unique to you but be sure to double-check that nothing like it already exists. Once you file your application, you won’t get a refund. If you want to search the trademark database, link here.
Please note: You have to file per goods or services. If you are planning to use it on a shirt, you can file it in for t-shirts. But, if you plan to use it overall in an online retail store, be sure to choose that option. Review the options carefully. By failing to do so, your brand is at stake.
What To Do If Someone Is ‘Biting Off’ Your Brand It doesn’t just stop at trademarking. Once you have completed the process, you have to police your brand. You can’t look in all places at once – but, you can check to see if others are using your hashtag on social media. That can be a warning sign that they are also using your content.
You can also set up Google Alerts. Google Alerts will notify you by email anytime a specific word or phrase is being used in the media. For myself, I have set up alerts for ‘Bossy By Nature Co’ as that is my blog’s brand identity Link here.
Let’s say you caught someone in the act? Send a ‘Take Down’ notice. This is also known as a cease and desist letter. Send it through email so that you can track the conversation for future legal purposes, if necessary. This letter puts that person on notice that you own the mark in question and they are required by law to remove any infringements from their websites, servers, products or services.