Why Small Businesses Need Trademarks
A trademark can be a small biz owner's best friend.
“I’m just a small brand, so I don’t need a trademark.”
“I’m not a household name or anything.”
“I’m a local business - everyone knows me. I don’t need some fancy trademark.”
As a small business owner, you’ve wondered whether trademarking is something you really need to do. The only trademarks you can think of all belong to big brands, and you are perfectly content as a small, local business. Up until this point, you’ve assumed that trademarking is only for the Coke’s and Nike’s of the world.
And your competitors would love for you to keep thinking that.
But today is all about myth-busting, so here is the reality: a federally registered trademark is one of the best tools that a small business can have in its tool belt. Let me explain:
What is a Trademark?
Trademarks are not only for big corporations. In fact, size has nothing to do with trademarks. Even individuals who don’t even have a business can secure a trademark if they want to.
Trademarks are a legally enforceable way to protect brands. A trademark allows you to own your business name, slogan, logo, etc. and to be able to stop competitors from copying you. Why is this useful as a small business? Read on.
How do Trademarks Offer Protection?
A federally registered trademark gives its owner a lot of power. The owner of a trademark can file complaints against infringing social media accounts and websites, potentially having them shut down. The owner can also file complaints against infringing internet domains, and have those domains canceled (or transferred to themselves as the rightful owner). Without a trademark, it would be very difficult for a small business to stop a larger business from using its name and logo. With a federally registered trademark, a small business has a lot more leverage and is more likely to be successful if the dispute ever goes to court.
As an intellectual property lawyer, I cringe when I hear well-meaning people tell small business owners that they don’t need a trademark. The irony is that a federally registered trademark is one of the best methods of legal protection that a small business can have.
Thanks for reading the Bevel Law Blog! While this information is hopefully helpful to you, nothing in this blog is intended to be legal advice. Always consult a lawyer before making any legal decisions based on topics in this blog.
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