A trademark registration is the heart and soul of any business. It's safe to say that it's what legally protects your brand and services. When your trademark is in jeopardy, so are your profits. However, even with this understanding, a number of small businesses unknowingly put their brands at risk every day. Make sure you know what mistakes to avoid.
Failure To Keep Information Current
Once your initial application has been approved, you receive a legal trademark for your organization. However, don't at all think you are automatically locked in to keep this trademark registration forever. It is imperative that you keep all of your registration details up to date in order to ensure this. Even the slightest error can cause your trademark registration to be cancelled, leaving you vulnerable.
One example of this is a business description that is no longer representative of the services or goods you offer. To put this in perspective, consider an HVAC company. When their business began, they only sold units to consumers who could then have the unit installed by the contractor of their choice. However, now their business model involves selling, installing, and maintaining units. This change in operational practices must be reflected in their trademark registration file or it could be in jeopardy due to inaccurate information.
Disregarding The Competition
A particularly common problem among smaller businesses is the practice of disregarding the competition. There is often the idea that because their business is so small, surely there isn't a competitor who would even try to infringe on their trademark. This is a real mistake. If you have a product or service that is profitable, you are at risk for infringement, regardless of the size of your organization. Always keep your eye out for possible infractions.
While your competitors aren't the enemy, the motto to keep your friends close but your enemies even closer, should be applied in this instance. Make it a point to frequently review the product line for any competitors. Whether it's a blatant infringement, such as using the name of your product, or something subtler like using similar marketing colors, keep your eyes open so that you can take swift action to protect your brand.
Protecting your business's trademark should begin and end with you. However, from the initial application process to registration updates to handling infringements, let an attorney work with you to protect your businesses and everything you've worked for. You can contact a trademark attorney at a firm like Mohajerian A Professional Law Corporation.