Many clients believe that registration of their business’ name is necessary to prevent others from using it. Sometimes, registration is an important way to protect a business’ intellectual property.
Many times, however, registration is unnecessary or many even be unavailable–especially in the early stages of business start-up. Regardless of whether registration is available, however, a client should always discuss the following with their business lawyer before marketing any new product:
- Should the business’ name or the product’s name be protected?Is the product being sold across state lines?
- Are there any other products being sold using the same or a similar name anywhere in the same industry?
- Is the product name imaginative or merely descriptive?What are the pros, cons, and costs of registration?
Failure to properly plan before marketing a new product name can result in expensive corrections if a competitor is already using the trademark–even in a completely different market.