with Aliza Sherman
If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.
To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.
Donna Maria Coles Johnson of Indie Business Media, LLC is the “Lifestyle CEO” who helps women manage home and business through the resources she creates including a radio show and the book The Lifestyle CEO: Break All the Rules, Build Your Own Corporate Ladder & Create the Life You Love. In addition to all of her other accomplishments, she is also a lawyer. Here is what she has to say about trademark issues around building a brand.
Building Your Brand
While there are plenty of differences between small businesses and large businesses, one thing they all have in common is that each has at least one trademark. It could be the name of the business or the brand name for a line of its products. Either way, every business owner must understand what trademarks are and choose brand names that they can protect and claim as their own.
When deciding on a brand name, choose a name that no one else is using and one that is as unique as possible. Using a name that’s already out there in the marketplace is tantamount to aiming a gun at the future of your business and pulling the trigger. There’s a whole chapter on this in my Lifestyle CEO book, but for now, here are a few tips to help out.
1. Don’t Use A Name If It Shows Up Anywhere Online.
If the name you want to use for your business shows up on Google or any other search engine or
anywhere else online, it means someone else is probably already using it. Pick another name.
2. Use A Name With The Corresponding Dot Com.
If the name you want to use is not available as a dot com, it means someone else is probably already using it, has thought about using it, or is offering it for sale at a price you probably can’t afford or don’t want to pay. Pick another name.
3. Check the US Patent & Trademark Office For Name Availability.
If the name you want to use is listed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office
(http://www.uspto.gov) as the subject of a trademark appliction or registration, it means that someone else is claiming legal rights to the name. Pick another name.
Note from Aliza: The best way to avoid legal hassles for infringing on someone else’s trademark is to do your homework and not take any chances. You may think that nobody will ever find out that you’ve used someone else’s trademark, but because of the Internet, chances are they will. Don’t risk it.
Subscribe to blog via RSS