If you put hard work into creating a brand for your business, it’s worth protecting with a trademark. Not only will a trademark distinguish you from competitors, but it can also provide confidence to consumers when they buy a product and know it came straight from you and not a copycat. Trademarks are not as cut and dry as they seem, however. With different types of trademarks available, and differing levels of protection, picking the right one for your business can become a difficult process.
What protections will a trademark provide my business?
A trademark ensures that no other business may use a similar mark in the enforceable area of your mark. Other businesses are disallowed from advertising, promoting, or selling products with your trademark on them. This means that your business will be able to take action against anyone infringing on your mark, preventing copycats from devaluing your brand. They’re also an asset, which means if you grow your brand you may be able to sell your trademark in the future for a nice profit.
It’s important to keep in mind that the responsibility for defending your trademark is on your business, not the government. If your business does not actively take action against trademark infringement, it’s possible that the court will refuse to enforce trademark rights on the basis that you are not utilizing the mark for its intended purpose. This is where having an experienced trademark attorney can pay dividends, both in protecting your business and in damages from trademark infringement.
How can I get a trademark for my business?
In Florida, you can register a trademark for your business with the Division of Corporations for a small fee. If you work with a trademark attorney, it’s fast and easy to get a state trademark for your business. You should keep in mind that a state trademark is just that – a state trademark. If your business operates across state lines, or online, you will not be able to enforce your trademark outside of Florida. That being said, state trademarks are still a great option for businesses that don’t have to worry about business outside of the state, as they still provide the standard protections. Florida trademarks will last for five years and can be renewed indefinitely as long as the renewal fees are paid on time. One of the major benefits of working with a trademark attorney is that they can renew your trademark for you, ensuring that another company can’t swoop in and register it should you forget to pay the renewal fee.
For businesses operating online or across state lines, you may register for a federal trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Instead of five years, federal trademarks last for ten but also require additional paperwork every few years such as a Declaration of Use, which is also something your trademark attorney can take care of. Federal trademarks offer the same protections as a state trademark, but across the entire country.
Don’t let the barriers to entry for trademarks stop your brand from protecting itself. Trembly Law Firm is here to help your business register and protect its trademarks, and we will ensure that there’s no lapse that would give trademark pirates an opportunity to hijack your brand. Call us today and allow us to protect your business.
Trembly Law Firm
9700 South Dixie Hwy Penthouse 1100
Miami, Florida 33156