Here Are Reasons You Should And Reasons You Shouldn’t Register A Trademark
Be it your personal name, business name or even your tagline or logo, you may be considering a trademark for it.
But should you?
It can be a difficult decision. Is it really worth the amount of money you will spend (trademarks are not cheap)?
There are pros and cons, and by no means can I, nor should I make that decision for you.
The reason I am writing this post is to just explain the pros and cons so you can be completely informed before filing a trademark application.
Facts About Trademarks And Registering Them
In this section, I am going to provide you with some basic facts.
A trademark is designed just to stop confusion
There is a common thought pattern that no other business can use a name if that name is trademarked.
That is a false thought pattern.
Let’s say you manufacture diesel engines and you trademarked your business name. A music company uses the same name but does not register for a trademark. You approach your attorney asking them to sue and your attorney will probably tell you there are no grounds. This is because the company is in a different category. There is no chance of confusing the 2 companies.
Now if that other company made, let’s say small engines, you would have grounds.
A trademark will protect your name nationwide
If you choose to incorporate or form a LLC, just companies within your State cannot use the business name. A trademark works nationwide.
Trademarks can take a long time to get processed
The process of registering a trademark is normally completed within 1 year, but some have taken several years.
You will have to choose a trademark class
The trademark class you choose will depend on the goods or services the business offers. There are 45 different classes.
A trademark is good for…
10 years and then you have to renew.
A trademark can help you attain the domain name
The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection law deems that if a person trademarks a name and another person is “sitting” on domain names that are directly associated with that trademark, they can be forced to transfer the domain name to the trademark owner.
So Is Registering A Trademark Worth It?
I am going to give you several reasons why you should register a trademark.
I am also going to give you several reasons why you shouldn’t register a trademark.
From that point, you are the judge, jury and executioner.
Reasons you should register a trademark
- It will protect you from copycats and impostors.
- Your brand has more protection on social media.
- Unlike copyrights that do expire, trademarks can be renewed every 10 years for years upon years (infinite).
- Registering a trademark build loyalty. Consumers will have more trust.
- Having a trademark prevents cyber-squatters from holding certain domain names for ransom.
Reasons you shouldn’t register a trademark
- The cost can be $225 – $325 just for registering. That does not include attorney fees and research costs. Yes, I do recommend you use an attorney.
- You haven’t done research if it is available. You should absolutely search the United States Patent and Trademark Office database to ensure the trademark hasn’t already been taken. Remember, if you do file and it is taken, you still lose the application fee.
- You could stir a beehive. Some trademark owners have people watching the public records. If your trademark could be construed to conflict with another trademark, you could find yourself in the midst of a confrontation that could be costly.
- If you expect it to be a short lifespan. Maybe you plan on developing further and have goals of the name being out of date in 2 or 3 years. Does it really make sense to trademark it?
- You already own a similar registration. Lets say you registered a name for hats that you manufacture. Now you are making gloves too. The first trademark will cover the gloves too.
What Are Your Thoughts?
First and foremost, I am not an attorney, so I do highly recommend you consult one about trademarks.
Do you have a trademark?
Do you plan on getting a trademark?
Did this post give you some insight?
Please post any comments or questions below.
No matter what you decide, keep in mind that the most important aspect of managing your business is keeping the finances straight. I developed an app that can help. Check out The Expense Tracker and see how you can save time and find tax breaks by using it.
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