Trademarks 101: Avoiding Common Mistakes

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Many entrepreneurs and small businesses try to handle their intellectual property (in this case, trademarks) independently.  While this works in some circumstances, entrepreneurs and small businesses often make the same mistakes when dealing with trademark searching and clearance which could be avoided relatively easily.

Trademark searching and clearance involves the collection and analysis of information in order to assess a potential trademark’s viability from an availability and protectability standpoint.

The process of trademark searching and clearance is crucial for businesses from a risk management standpoint, particulary those who rely heavily on a specific logo or brand.  Consequences of an inadequate search or, God forbid, the failure to search can be drastic and can include being sued for trademark infringement (which can result in significant monetary damages) and/or an injunction that completely stalls a product launch or advertising campaign.

While the process of trademark searching and clearance can be complicated, there are common mistakes that an entreprenuer or small business can take steps to avoid.

Common Mistakes To Avoid:

#1) Failing to Consult a Trademark Attorney:  While this may come across as redundant, manipulative or simply not heplful from a common sense standpoint, it is no lie that many entrepreneurs and small businesses get into trouble with their brand, logo or other trademark assets because they made decisions or took actions without consulting a trademark attorney.  (NOTE: a “trademark attorney”)

Searching a trademark can be complicated and there are many potential pitfalls which can be avoided if an entrepreneur or company consults an experienced trademark attorney first.

Most trademark search mistakes occur when the process of searching and clearance is conducted by a business manager or other personnel or, surprise surprise, by an attorney who does not specialize in trademarks.  Therefore, make sure the attorney you consult actually has experience in trademarks.

Stay tuned for additional common mistakes that you can avoid in the trademark search and clearance process…

Topics:  Entrepreneurs, Small Business, Trademarks

Published In: General Business Updates, Intellectual Property Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. | Attorney Advertising

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