Monday, November 21, 2011
Trademark Search First, Then Brand
All too often an entrepreneur requests a trademark search after they have settled on a branding strategy. Indeed, in many cases, the company has been formed under a particular name, the product and its packaging has been designed around that name, and (sadly) the product has launched sometimes with great fanfare. Then comes the news that the trademark search turned up another competitive product with a confusingly similar name. Or, worse still, a competitor has been found with the exact name or one so close as to represent no significant difference.
An expensive re-branding effort follows that news and/or the entrepreneur has to assume some (potentially significant) risk of a trademark infringement suit. A better way to launch a company and/or product exists. First and foremost, have a trademark search performed by a professional early in the formation of the company. That way, your formation documents (e.g., LLC, LLP, Articles of Incorporation, etc.) can be filed under the name that you are likely to operate under. In addition, the money spent on designing your advertising, website, packaging, etc. will probably need to be spent only once. Not twice, as with waiting to search your company and or product name.
In addition, you will have a smaller risk that your name will infringe an existing mark. Plus, should an infringement threat arise, you will have the search results and the advice of a trademark attorney upon which to fall back. While that information might or might not completely save you from liability, it will help show your good faith and that you exercised care in selecting your company’s name.
The intellectual property attorneys at the Villhard Patent Group would like to guide you through this process. For more information about us and intellectual property, please see www.villhardpatents.com or call us at (512) 897-0399.