What Can You Do to Protect Your Brand
We spend a lot of time discussing the importance of creating loyalty through trust, reliability, and providing high-quality service, which is the holy grail of building your brand. It is an unfortunate reality that with hard work and success also comes imitations or someone attempting to steal from you. Whether that be your logo or trade name to tag lines or products, there are ways you can protect your brand from being diluted.
Key Steps to Protect Your Brand
- First and foremost is legally protecting your brand by registering a trademark, copyright, or both. By doing so, you are claiming exclusive rights to your intellectual property, i.e., brand, logo, ownership, and creative work.
- TRADEMARK ™
- A trademark protects WORDS such as your brand name, PHRASES such as your slogan, or DESIGNS such as your logo. In most countries, a ™ symbol gives you common law rights.
- REGISTERED TRADEMARK ®
- Registering your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) creates a public record of your exclusive claim to your brand name, slogan, and logo for as long as you continue to file and pay maintenance fees with the USPTO.
- COPYRIGHT ©
- Copyright protects original artistic creations. This can be very broad and diverse in its application.
- A patent protects technical inventions, technology, and ideas. The patent process is complex, but obtaining one will safeguard your ideas and services.
- Protect Your Name Online: Utilizing one domain for your business is essential, but so is owning the variations; this includes .net, .com, and .org versions. In addition to this, claim all relevant social media handles on every channel you can. A protected online and social media presence is as close to hiring a physical security guard as possible.
- Stay Present with Your Brand: Now that you have created and protected your brand, be present with your brand. Search yourself and your competitors, monitor your IP and enforce against infringements as soon as possible.
Starting a business, creating a brand, and developing loyalty come with hard work and a little stress management. If you take anything from this blog, remember that the best way to protect your brand is to trademark your IP and register it with the USPTO. Stay present and be vigilant against competitors that cross the legal line.