7 Trademark Mistakes that can make Your Business Sink
“Imagine, you have successfully established your brand name in the market by working hard for years and giving everything to build it. Everything is going well and you possess a large customer base with the good market image. Then suddenly one day you are barred from using your name, or you are penalized with hefty penalties or punishments.” Just the idea of losing the rights over your trademark can be haunting. All of this could happen just because you have made certain avoidable trademark mistakes.
You may find it hard to believe that simple trademark mistakes will cost you so much. So to make you believe, here we have quoted the case of the famous name in the industry “APPLE”. Its brand name is enough to make the buyers trust the products and pay any amount for it. Let us understand the case of apple incorporation for trademark mistakes.
Apple corporation v/s apple incorporation
Initially, the Beatles came up with their music company named Apple Corps, and then eight years later Steve Jobs came up with Apple Inc with which you are very familiar. Both the mega-corporations fought in the court for years claiming there right on the brand name apple.
As the apple corporation was using the brand name on a prior basis after the first round the prior Apple Inc. agreed to pay Apple Corps a cash settlement and to stay out of the music business. However, with the advent of iTunes by Apple, the battle between the two heated up again. Finally, an apparent settlement was reached where Apple Inc. agreed to purchase Apple Corps’ trademark rights and then license them back to the music company.
When such a big brand name could face these consequences you could definitely face the heat of making the trademark mistakes. We all know prevention is much better than cure. So let us take a look at the possible trademark mistakes you could make and ensure to avoid them.
- Using the names that are too general- Using the word milk for your dairy products or electronics for an electronic product is generic in eyes of trademark department. Obtaining trademark registration for these generic names in itself is difficult. However, in case you get, it registered they are considered as weak and does not hold up in the court.
- Ignoring trademark ownership- Usually, the people do not pay heed to the ownership of the trademark. Without paying the due attention they obtain trademark registration in the name of the company or the owner. With this ambiguous decision usually, troubles are faced in the future that in case the trademark is sold who is to be paid. Also, if some disputes occur the actual owner may face troubles.
- Failing to conduct a comprehensive trademark search- It is of utmost importance that a complete public trademark search shall be conducted to check the applied, abandoned and canceled trademarks. Importance of trademark search can be clearly seen in the case described above. If before choosing the brand name “apple” a complete search was conducted the steve jobs would have been saved from paying such high prices.
- Never forget to protect your trademark- Do you think it is enough to just build your brand name? No its not! In order to protect your name from being exploited by your competitors and create your market make sure to protect your mark with trademark registration. Along with trademark registration comes the exclusive rights of usage and distribution.
- Using the wrong trademark symbol- There are three kinds of trademark symbol ®, ™, or SM out of which one is required to be put on the product. If your brand is registered make sure to replace the symbol of TM or SM with ®. The registered symbol helps the customers to put their trust with the product and also make the competitors aware that you the owner of the said trademark.
- Choosing the wrong trademark class- While making an application for trademark registration it is important to describe in detail the goods or services for which the owner would use the applied trademark. It is important to choose the correct class of goods and services as your trademark will only apply to items falling the class chosen by you.
- Not Hiring a Trademark Attorney- The procedure for applying and obtaining trademark registration is quite time-consuming and audacious. Many times owners fail to understand the importance of hiring the professionals and end up getting stuck in the procedure. The experienced and professional trademark attorney will conduct the better search and will increase the chances of getting the trademark registered significantly.
So now you know what aspects to consider for your Trademark! Go ahead and make your business successful with the well-established trademark.
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