Imagine spending countless hours coming up with a creative name and logo for your new product or service or business. Then imagine using that name and logo over time, perhaps years, building up brand recognition.
Your logo is distinctive and recognizable, and becomes a symbol of the high quality your business delivers. The public comes to recognize your products or services by name and that they stand for quality. They count on getting that quality. Your business goes to great lengths to deliver it.
Your brand becomes so recognizable, that people automatically think of it when they need a product or service. They immediately visit your website or look for your brand in stores. Your brand “sells.”
One day it hits you: your brand name is one of the most valuable assets in your business.
Unfortunately, that fact has not escaped the notice of your competitors.
Seeing what a great thing you’ve got going, a competitor starts using a name and/or logo strikingly similar to your own. What would you do?
One of your first thoughts might be to try to stop that other company from unfairly cashing in on your business logo or product name.
Welcome to the wild world of trademarks. It’s precisely for the above scenario and others like it, that you need to know about trademark protection.
I’ve written a short primer on trademark issues and procedures in my latest article over at the Online Merchant Network: Understanding Why Trademarks Are Important.