When we launched our company in 2012, we almost lost our MiMA brand, but thanks to the awesome legal team at HIPLegal, they saved the day. We'd love to share their top 5 advice we learned to protect our brand.
A trademark is a symbol used by a company to identify the origin or source of a good or service. It is generally a word or a logo, but can also include slogans or phrases, sounds, and occasionally colors. Trademarks are designed to protect the public, so they are not confused about the origin of the product or service.
Choose the name carefully. The closer to “arbitrary” it is, the stronger. Apple is a stronger mark for selling computers than International Business Machines. Do not pick a generic name (“Computer Sellers Inc.” has no trademark. Neither does ”Windows.”)
Search to make sure the mark is available, before investing in marketing and branding.
Consider how your trademark will sound outside the US if you intend to use it internationally.
Consider registering your trademark. Common law protects your brand locally (to protect local consumers) but a trademark filing can extend that protection through the country (and internationally).
Police your trademarks. Because trademarks are to protect the consumer, you must keep an eye out for misuses of your mark, and address them.
You can do so by providing permission to benign uses
Be aware of social media risks if you are aggressive.