Topic: Franchises and Franchising
When it comes to branding your business, your trademark should be at the
center of the discussion. A trademark or service mark can be a word, a
logo, a slogan, a color and even a sound. And making sure your trademark
is registered is of primary importance to ensure that you retain full
rights in your name, slogan, logo, etc. Protecting your trademark,
protects your business.
many people understand the importance of trademark registration with
the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for their
business, most forget that the trademark or service mark (“Mark”) should
be registered for all uses of the mark. In other words, if you have a
registered Mark for restaurant services, but not for clothing and
apparel, arguably, those shirts you are selling with your logo are not
protected; anyone can use your trademark on clothing and apparel or any
other use that is not a restaurant service. Multiple registrations for
different classes of goods helps protect your valuable Mark. (A good
example of this is McDonald’s mark in “I’m Lovin’ It®”. They have
registration of this in 4 classes of goods).
need to be actively protecting your Mark and using your Mark. If you
have a registered Mark that you stop using, you will lose your rights.
The same goes for not protecting your rights –if you don’t try to stop
infringing users, you may lose your rights to stop that user from
infringing on your Mark. Regular searches on search engines such as
Google and Bing, as well as looking at the USPTO registry, and on
YouTube, Facebook and Twitter can help alert you to those users who are
infringing on your Mark.