Legal Ownership Of Your Brand Name
The process of brand naming does not end after you come up with a final decision to name your brand. Then you need to get legal ownership for your selected brand name. That means you have to go through the registering process of your brand name. That gives you legal protection for your brand name in the long run. Getting the legal ownership of your brand name is also known as trademark registering.
What Is A Trademark?
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a trademark is,
“a word, phrase, symbol, and/ or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of the others.”
According to this definition, your business name/ brand name is also considered as a “trademark” in a “legal frame”.
How To Come Up With A Trademark?
Coming up with an available trademark is a difficult task. The below-mentioned process is the easiest and the most successful way to do that.
- Shortlist the brand name ideas you have. To get a quality result, you can consider brand name qualities and naming trends.
- Now it’s time to narrow down your list with the best brand names. Ask your family members and friends for feedback and cut off all the other brand name ideas.
- After selecting the best list, send it to your attorney to do the trademark search in your industry. The purpose of doing this search is to make sure the names you selected do not infringe on active trademarks.
- After the basic search, your attorney will do an availability check with the remaining brand name ideas. Among them, select the best one and ask your attorney to register it as soon as possible.
Benefits Of Registering Your Brand Name (Trademark)
“Why should I register my brand name? What are the benefits of registering my brand name?” If this is the first question that comes to your mind, there are two main reasons.
- When you start a business, you need a legal backup as well. When you register, your brand name is well protected!
- If you are forming a sole proprietorship, you should register your business name because it is the only way you can register your business.
Apart from these two main reasons, here are some other benefits of trademarking your brand name…
Knowing the benefits is helpful before you register a brand name. Let’s see what are the benefits you can get after registering.
- Can gain customer trust towards your company/ business.
- You can protect the uniqueness of your brand name in the market.
- It helps your customer to recognize your brand among competitors.
- It adds value to your products or services.
- You can attract new customers to your brand.
- Gives you the right to take legal actions if someone else uses your brand name.
- It gives your customers a notion of the high quality of your products or services
- Minimize your tax liability
- Limit your personal liability
- Avoid conflict with your founders
- Legitimacy and brand awareness
- You can raise significant capital
How to register your business in the USA?
The registration process of a brand name can be different based on the country. But for your knowledge, we will give you some details about the registration process of brand names in the USA.
- First, identify your business structure
There are a lot of legal structures in the business world. Below you can see some of the most common legal structures. Can you find your business structure here?
- A sole proprietorship
- Limited liability corporation
2. What is the address of your business?
While registering your business, your business needs an address, a particular place to receive mail, and to fill legal documents such as tax forms.
3. Get the registration done.
Here you come to the most important part. You need to choose your brand name carefully and file the paperwork to pay the registration fee. There is another main factor you need to know. If you name your business with your own name, you need to file a DBA, which means “Doing Business As”.
4. Get the EIN
The next step is registering your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to get the Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number is essential for filing your taxes.
5. Registering under your state agency
After the federal registration process, you may have to register the brand name under your state or local agency as well.
6. Finally, the Licence!!!
Make sure you get the correct licenses and permits for your business, and then you can start your business journey with confidence!!!
What If Someone Infringes Your Trademark
When you own the selected brand name, you have to protect it. To do that, these are the few things you need to consider after the registration.
1.Search for any infringes
Google has an alert system that you can use whenever there is an infringement. You can notice and take suitable action.
2. Send the infringers a takedown note
When you send a takedown notice to the infringing party, you need to let them know through your lawyer. You can claim that you own the brand name by the law, and inform them to remove all the infringing marks from their products or servers.
3. Include intellectual property clauses when drafting your contract.
This means when you hire employees or contractors, you must sign an agreement that states they will not use your brand name for their businesses or personal use.
Why Should You Not Get A Brand Name That Was Registered Before?
Brinso does not recommend a brand name with a history. Because it can harm you even if you have a registered brand name.
- SEO Spam: Choosing a blacklisted or spam-detected brand name will negatively impact your SEO performance.
- Temporary misusage: Most scam product sellers register brands and give up on them immediately.
- Illegal usage: Owners give up brand names for copyright issues or any other legal issues.
- Email spams: Some owners send millions of spam mails to sell products or services and eventually give up the brand names.
Another reason that Brinso does not suggest you brand names that have a history is, you may have to put an extra effort to make sure that users will not misunderstand your product or service. As an example,
If the brand name abc.com used to sell soap earlier and has left its brand name, a new user buys the same one to sell computers.
But the consumers who used abc.com earlier still might think that it sells soap. So the new company has to put some extra effort into branding and marketing to make customers aware that it sells computers.
Considering all these factors Brinso Makes sure not to put forward any brand name which has been used in the past.
Working With An Attorney To Apply For Trademark
You have to work with an intellectual property attorney in the trademark process. They can help you save your time and money as well. Most importantly, that helps you avoid the mistakes you can make blindly, which can land you unnecessary troubles.
So, it is better to get professional help to start your business with confidence.
Always Use The Marking Notice
It is not mandatory to use the trademark registration symbol in every situation. But anyway, it is a good idea to use for your protection. Because it clearly shows people that you own the rights.
On the other hand, not using the trademark registration symbols limits your capabilities of taking legal actions against infringers.