Copyright, trademark, and patent – after awhile it can become a tad confusing as to what you need to do to protect the name of your business by registering your business name.
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into finding the perfect name for your business. It’s unique, it reflects what you have to offer, and the last thing you need happening to you is someone stealing that name for you. This dirty little move often happens years later after someone has built up a successful business. You want to make sure you have done what you need to do to protect your name. So what are the legal steps you should follow?
The definitely legal steps you can take to protect the name of your business. If you were the first business to use the name you can protect it, thereby ensuring no one else will be able to use it unless they have your permission.
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May think to protect their business name they need a business name patent. Actually, that’s not what you need to do. A trade name is one of many intangibles protect by law. It can be used to protect intellectual property, artistic impression, and literary expressions, such as an idea, an invention, or a unique name.
Patent law is focused on protecting mental creations like inventions. For example, zippers, drugs, and Velcro all have patents. Copyright protects the creations by artists, authors, computer programmers, and composers. It covers books, newspapers, art, software, films, music, magazines, speeches, websites, and songs.
Trade secret law is designed to protect confidential information a business such as medical formulas or manufacturing processes. Trademark law protects sounds, logos, brand names, and designs. For example, the name McDonalds is a trade name for the food chain. Trademark law also protects names, which a company does business as.
When you put your name on a T-shirt or a store sign, it doesn’t offer you any trade name protection, unless you have taken the right steps. If you haven’t done so, the time to do so is right now. You don’t want to risk the competition sneaking in and registering your business name. It’s actually a more common practice than you might think.
Protecting your business name is key to ensuring the long-term success of your business. Because if you build a business and you have name branding, then someone steels your name from under your nose, your business is gone. Don’t let that happen to your business.
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