Why You Should Trademark Your Business Name

Trademarking a business name not only provides you full legal recognition of your trademark under federal law, but also creates a practical deterrent to other companies or individuals who would otherwise infringe on your trademark. I regularly explain these as the legal and practical reasons to trademark a business name.

In my opinion, the practical reasons to trademark a business name trump the legal ones. This is because most large companies—specifically social media sites—will work with you to stop an infringement of your trademark, so long as your trademark is registered with the federal government. If, for instance, a trademark violation occurs on Facebook, you can simply alert Facebook and the majority of the time they will give you the URL without any need for costly legal action. The same works on Twitter and a variety of other Web sites. The process is swift, but again dependent on actually having trademarked your business name with the federal government. Most of the time, however, simply having the circled-R ® next to your business name will be enough of a deterrent for an individual or company who would otherwise attempt to use your business name; they’ll see you have federal recognition of your trademark and, nine times out of ten, choose to trademark a different business name of their own.

Another practical reason to trademark a business name is because in order to get a trademark registered, first you have to perform a trademark search and application. The trademark search will illuminate any competing trademark which is potentially too similar to your desired trademark. Knowing this information will help you to avoid future legal action by trademarking a different business name before you build an abundance of brand equity. After all, spending years building familiarization among your customers with a business name only to have to change it would be very costly and time consuming.

So those are some practical reasons, but of course there are important legal reasons to trademark a business name as well. Namely, once you trademark a business name you have federal recognition of your ownership of the trademark. This means you can sue a trademark infringer in any court in the United States. Of course, as a trademark lawyer, I would hope to help you resolve the conflict short of going to court but it will always remain an option when you trademark your business name.

An important thing to remember is that from start to finish it takes about eight months to trademark a business name. You will, nonetheless, be granted rights over a competitor who attempts to register a similar trademark while your application is being processed but it is always better to get started sooner than later when it comes to trademarking your business name. The legal and practical reasons to trademark a business name really take effect when you are granted a certificate of registration from the federal government. Visit www.gerbenlaw.com to learn more.