Branding takes a lot of hard work but it is important to make a great first impression. This will help distinguish your business from the competition, get repeat customers, and establish loyalty and trust.
While it is important to be proactive and go the extra mile, it is also important to be proactive in protecting your brand. Thankfully, there are several legal strategies that you can implement to protect your brand effectively.
Make it Distinctive
You first need to create a distinctive brand and identity that sets your business apart in the market. Create a unique business name, logo, color scheme, and if applicable, a tagline or slogan.
To make sure no one has already taken your name or a similar logo, search for trademarks at uspto.gov. Each state also has its own business website that will show you what names have already been used.
Once you have your brand established, the next step is to bring consistency to your brand’s presence. Whether it is your website design, print ads, or billboards, you don’t want to confuse your potential audience. A distinctive presence not only makes your brand recognizable as an entity but also an identifier for your business.
Another key aspect of brand protection and ensuring its protection with federal intellectual property laws. For example, you will need a patent if you are selling something unique which you have invented.
Similarly, federal copyright law is meant to protect original creative works. Seeking the services of a local law firm can help you determine what is worth protecting. Not only do they help you identify the kind of protection required in your case but also get them implemented for you.
The patent process can be quite slow and time-consuming, which makes it important to protect your inventions while the application is pending. The best option would be to cover them up with a common law trademark in the meantime.
Though this form of protection is geographically limited, it still works. State trademark registration is a better idea as it provides somewhat greater coverage and also serves as evidence of ownership. Still, federal trademark registration is essential if you want complete security for your brand.
Keep a Check on Employees and Contracts
When it comes to valuable proprietary information, think Coke’s secret formula or Google’s search engine algorithm, a business or employer can seek damages or injunctive relief in the event of unauthorized disclosure.
Employees should sign nondisclosure agreements as a part of trade secret protection. Your business lawyer should review any contracts with independent designers, developers, and other contractors to make sure that the ownership of the intellectual property they create belongs to you. That is what you hired them for!
Apart from enforcing these measures, acting immediately when you discover brand infringement is vital. Having a seasoned business lawyer to represent your brand is the smartest approach as they can play an advisory role, take the requisite measures for brand fortification and go ahead with legal action when there is a need.
This is something you should not overlook because your brand deserves a greater level of protection you can give it. It is easy to steal information, information that you may have spent considerable time and effort on. Make sure you protect your hard work!