Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs

Lesson 6 of 10

Trademark Registration

 

Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs

Lesson 6 of 10

Trademark Registration

 

Lesson Info

Trademark Registration

So here's another legal mistake that entrepreneurs often make ok, this is something that drives me and the attorneys that work in my office kind of crazy sometimes it's not vetting the name of your business product or service before you begin using it really really important not to skip this step it is so often skipped and it leads tio trademark infringement and all kinds of issues so let's talk about the benefits of trademark registration and why you'd want to register the trademark so trademark registration is actually the purpose of it is to protect your brand so we just talked about copyright copyright registration protects your creative works your original creative works all of the different types of content that you're creating whether it's artwork, technical drawings, courses, audio recordings, videos right we've seen all the different types of things that you can register the copyright for trade market is dealing with your brand so that's protecting your business name your logo...

your tag line you can actually also register the trademark for sounds for example, nbc owns the trademark for that do do do that you hear on their channel all the time they actually own the trademark for that sound you can actually also trademark colors, right? So a insulation company has trademarked pink the color pink for insulation so when people see you know a home going up and being built in their neighborhood and they see that pink insulation going in they know that this particular company is the company that is you know that's their insulation so that doesn't prevent anyone from using the color pink right in association with their brand it just prevents other companies who make insulation from making it pink the way that this company has so it's a way for you to just provide markers and but you know parameters around your brand and your brand is incredibly powerful right it's how people identify with you it's why people buy from you is because they associate themselves with your brand they see themselves in some way in your brand and they connect with it so that's really important and that's why it's worth protecting your brand and registering the trademark for your different brand elements so that that way when a customer comes into contact with your logo or your tag line or they see the name of your company they can expect a certain level of quality right? They can expect a certain whatever they can expect from your brand so for example with small business bodyguard our brand is a little bit edgy and sort of irreverent for example example the tagline is cover your bases cover your assets cover your ass you know so we try to you know we're teaching you legal content but we're doing it in a way that's really accessible on dh really sort of fun and we cursed a little bit and you know, we make a lot of jokes and so that's my brand and so when someone sees small business bodyguard that's what I want them to experience so if there was a really stuffy brand that was like very traditional and had a certain particular style that was very different from mine, I wouldn't want them using the small business bodyguard mark right? Because then people who follow me because they love that edgy brand would be like, whoa what's this stuffy stuff over here this is not what I'm into so that creates brand confusion, right? And so that's why I trademark registration exist so that you can protect your brand and prevent other companies from causing confusion in the marketplace among your customers and prevent other companies from infringing on your mark ok, so trademark registration there's some benefits to it which are you know it solidifies your right to use the mark nationally here's something that a lot of people don't realize with trademark registration you definitely have a common law trademark rights tio the brand elements that you're using in commerce, right? So if you are using a certain business name, if you're using a certain logo or tag line and you're selling something under that brand, then you have a common law trademark rights but those common loud trademark rights are limited on lee to the areas where you're selling so for example, if you're a new york based company and you've got let's, say, clients in the tri state area of new york but you don't have any clients in california, well, somebody in california could be a direct competitor for you and use that exact same brand name and you wouldn't be able to do much about it with common law trademark rights because you're right to probably be limited toe on lee the areas where your company is well known. Okay, so that's, why it's really important to get national trademark rights and nowadays, the way we do business virtually and we work with people all over the world are all over the country it's really important to get that federal registrations that you have national trademark protection and not just protection in your neck of the woods? So it also like copyright registration creates a public record of your ownership of the mark and puts others on notice that you own the mark so here's an interesting fact once you register your trademark, your mark is on the federal register and so everyone in the world is expected to know every single mark that exists on the register and not to infringe on those marks okay that's interesting, right? So it provides some protection for you if you registered the trademark but it's also your responsibility as a business owner to know what's all federally registered what trademarks are on the federal register and to avoid infringing on them, and this is why I say it's a really big mistake not to vet the business name or tagline or product name that you come up with before you launch it and share it with the world, so we're going to dig into that in a couple minutes. So let's, just talk about some of the other benefits of trademark registration it's an asset that could be sold, license and otherwise used to make deals. So again, just like copyright registration trademark registration is important, you might notice on like a show like shark tank. A lot of times they will ask them, hey, have you registered the trademark for that? Or have you registered the patent for that? We'll talk a little bit about patents in a little while as well, so when you're taking on invest esther's or you want to get a loan from a bank, you need to show them that you got assets in the business. And this is how you prove that you have those assets by having your trademark registration certificates and your copyright registrations certificates, so it also like copyright in french, like copyright registration, it gives you the ability to file a lawsuit for trademark infringement in federal court, and again, you get to seek statutory damages from the infringer which serves as a huge deterrent for potential infringers of your mark so I want you to avoid making this mistake here's how you do it you registered the trademark for the various elements of your brand now I'm not going to show you how to do that today because I wouldn't even have time to it's a really complicated trademark registration is not something that's super straightforward, so at this point I just recommend that you hire an attorney to help you do that. Andi just to give you an idea of what the fees are, we charged twenty five hundred dollars for the trademark registration package that includes a trademark search which I'm actually going to show you how to do a basic trademark search in just a moment that includes, you know, filing the application and all the different responding to office actions and sort of managing the application through the end. But this is a complicated process the great thing about it, though it is more expensive than copyright registration, but the good thing about it is is that you only have to do it once, right? So you protect your brand one time you don't have usually eight different brands, so you have one brand you have one business name, one logo, one tag line and so once you register those things, then you're pretty good to go for me you know I own a couple of different trademark registrations because I have a couple of different legal kits that all you know they there's a couple of distinct brands that I have but that helps you make decisions remember I said look at everything every decision in your business through the lens of intellectual property I'll give an example of this so we just came out with a siri's of legal kids specifically for certain industries right? So the first one we came out with was legal nunchucks for photographers and there's a reason why I named it that way because I wanted to be able to register legal nunchucks and have the trademark registration for that and then just add for photographers for designers for filmmakers four coaches for all the different professional industries that we intend to create products under so that's that's a strategic decision I made so that I didn't have to register if I gave each of those products a different name I'd have to register the trademark for every single one of them so that's why it's worthwhile when you're coming up with the name to come up with a name that is you know sort of a siri's that's good for syria's so that you don't have to register all these different marks so think about these things when you're naming things because you want to make sure that you're able to protect your brand ok so don't do things that make it hard to register your brand and all these different brand elements. Um, so do register the company name, logo, tagline, product names, and if you have a physical product, you may want to register the trade dress because that's, how people recognize your product on the shelf. So if your product is sitting on a shelf in a supermarket next to all these other products, you know, what do you say when I send my husband to the store? I say, oh, babe, can you get me this type of powder? It's, the one in the orange container with the red top? I can't remember the name, but it's the orange one look for the orange one, you know it has stars on it or whatever. That's, how people, you know, recognize your product in the marketplace, so it's worth it to register the trade dresses well, if you have a physical product.

Class Description

In order to succeed, every entrepreneur needs a strong understanding of how intellectual property laws affect his or her work. Do you have what it takes to be your own best advocate?

Join Rachel Rodgers and learn the intellectual property concepts every small business owner should know. You’ll learn how content marketing can expand your brand, and how to ensure that your brand, content, and ideas are protected.

Drawing on her experience as an attorney, Rachel will demystify potentially confusing concepts like patents, trade secrets, and more. You’ll leave this class ready to defend your business and grow it to new heights.

Reviews

Julz P
 

Very good, covers all topics very well. I enjoyed learning about licensing, as a small business owner I never thought about it and how it could create another revenue stream. Thank you!

Folasade
 

Rachel is awesome! This course provides loads of helpful information for online entrepreneurs (at a very reasonable price) that I will be putting into use very soon! :)

Andrew Clark
 

Just watching a "free" preview; Rachel seems very thorough about this much needed to know subject. Thank you Rachel and I hope you continue to offer more legal type courses for us creatives!!!