Your trademark is invaluable. It acts as a brand for your company, projecting an image that your customers will instantly recognize as the image for your business. But if you want to create the right trademark for your California business, you must be careful that your trademark is not too weak or runs afoul of the law. Missteps in crafting and registering your trademark can have repercussions that could damage your business in the future.
Entreupenuer.com advises you to make your trademark simple, but specific. Stay away from a word that is too generic. If, for instance, you manufactured blank paper and sold it in packs, and you chose to call your paper simply "Paper," the word would do nothing to distinguish your product from other brands. Additionally, do not expect a court to support your trademark if it is challenged. Trademarks made up of generic, weak and undistinguishable words will be ruled ineligible by a court.
Another problem with creating a new trademark is that someone else may have already come up with the slogan, logo or image that you want to use for your business. Even if you do not discover your desired trademark on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, that does not mean the trademark does not exist. It may be registered elsewhere or listed in a different publication. For a more comprehensive search, you would have to look through any of the following resources:
- Business industry publications
- Internet domains
- Trademark registries for California and other states
This is important because if you try to use a trademark that someone else owns, you could be sued for infringement. If you lose the rights to use the trademark, Findlaw points out that you will lose valuable branding for your company. If the trademark is the same as your business name, you may have to change your company's name. As a result, you could lose customers that knew your company under its previous name. You will also have to expend a lot of money and time reprinting your company literature, business cards, and advertising.
Fortunately, a business does not have to tackle trademark searches and registration alone. Check out our website for information on how qualified intellectual property attorneys can assist you with selecting a trademark and researching it to make sure it is not already owned by another business.