Protecting your brand from identity theft by Trademark registration
The first costly mistake people make when branding their big idea is that they don’t start with intellectual property. It’s a big risk to not register your brand name as a trademark immediately you decide on a name.
It’s a known fact that individuals want to be associated with success. It’s the same way every business would like to be identified with a good brand name and that is the reason why many businesses choose to copy others by branding in a similar way as opposed to setting up something totally new.
It is for this reason that you protect your business, brand and goodwill associated with it by trademark registration. Protect it from what is know as “brand identity theft”.
What is brand identity theft?
It’s the deliberate use of someone else’s business name, logo, slogan or other branding, usually as a method to confuse consumers, gain financial advantage, or obtain other benefits.
Understanding trademarks: What can they do?
First, it’s important to understand the distinction between the three types of protection available from the government;
- A copyrightprotects original works of authorship both published and unpublished, such as artistic works like poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software and architecture. Copyrights do not protect facts, ideas, systems or methods of operation.
- Patentsprotect inventions or discoveries such as processes, machines, and designs for products.
- A trademarkis a word, phrase, name or symbol that identifies a company, a product or a service and distinguishes it from competitors.
Trademark registration can be used to identify your company, product or service and distinguish it from competitors. You can trademark your company name, product names, logos, and taglines. You can’t trademark an invention or a piece of software.
Trade/product names cannot be protected by either CAC registration or domain name registration but only by trademark registration.
Once registered, trademarks are valid for seven (7) years after which you can renew for another seven (7) years and then a further fourteen (14) years. There is no limit to the number of times you can renew your trademark. If you follow the rules for care and feeding of your trademark, you’ll have nothing to worry about. Maintain your trademark registration, keep your trademark in the public eye, and you can sleep soundly with no nightmares about trademark infringement to keep you awake.
Don’t spend time in court proving you were using it first, trademark it first!
Team 618 Bees
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