Friday, December 9, 2011

Top 5 Trademark Tips

A Trademark is a wonderful way to promote your businesses' goods or services. Wtih the use of the internet and social meeting, the branding that a trademark fosters is a valuable asset. Here are 5 tips:

1. Use it or lose it: A trademark does not exist in a vacuum. It derives its strength and priority from use in commerce. Use it in advertising, on business cards, social media outlets -- any place the public will see your goods or sevices featured.

2. Be the first kid on the block: With very few exceptions, the first user of a word, phrase or image as a trademark will have priorty for the goods and services it is associated with. That priority can extend to other potential simlar uses. A trademark for Acme Handbags is likely to extend to, and prevent another user from obtaining an Acme trademark, for wallets and other similar accessories.

3. Look before you leap: Make sure your catchy name or phrase isn't already being used for a similar or related product. Search the US Trademark site, check with a number of search engines and online directories and consider a professional search. You don't want to build an expensive branding campaign without a thorough review.

4. Defend the Trademark: If you let others use it, your priorty may be meaningless. Trademarks can be lost.

5. Watch out for commercial solicitations in the guise of government agencies: Clients with Federally registered trademarks invariably get solicted for monitoring services, foreign registrations and other services for official sounding sources. They are almost always looking to provide a service you don't need.

As always, questions and comments are welcome. As a trademark lawyer in Danbury, Connecticut, you can reach me at or 203-744-1929, ext 22. Fran Pennarola,