When should you trademark your brand? The simplest answer to this question is as soon as possible.
That is the gist of it. There are many reasons why this is so, and it can differ somewhat depending upon the exact scenario, but the basic advice for anyone about starting a business is to be expedient in registering their trademark.
In this regard, it should be clear that a trademark is the face of your business. It is the sign by which your product or service is known to the world. So, the sooner you stake your claim on your favorite mark for your business, the better the chances are for your success.
What Are Your Options?
Based on how ready you are to launch your company, you have two choices
Both methods have their pros and cons, and both are discussed below.
Registering a Trademark
Registering a trademark as soon as you open an LLC and launch your company is a good idea. It gives you more rights and claims to your intellectual property.
Filing for "Intent To Use"
This is a good idea for people who are going to start a business but are not prepared to launch it yet. Perhaps they need more time for product development, or they are still planning the marketing.
Intent to claim lets you stake your claim and gives you time to finish your product launch properly.
Using Common Law To Safeguard Your Trademark
As soon as you use a mark while selling, you can claim it as your own without registering it.
Why Depending On Common Law Rights Is a Mistake.
First of all, this only gives you rights in the state you use it in.
Secondly, it is a weaker claim than official registration.
So, if someone registers the same mark as you in another state, you cannot expand into that state with the same mark. You will also most likely lose the fight if you take them to court.
Better to just register your trademark in time.
Why Registering a Trademark Should Be Done As Soon As Possible
If you don't register it, someone else will. It will not matter if you have spent time and money on marketing your product. Someone else can cash out on it by beating you to the registration. Without having used the product in commerce yet, you will not be able to claim the rights to the mark. You will have to research another mark, remarket your product, and relaunch it.
There are many subtle details surrounding the trademark laws. For better advice on obtaining a trademark for your brand, do leave us a note or give us a call to set up a consultation.