When is the Right Time for a Trademark?
A trademark is the exclusive right to use your brand name, logo, or tagline.
It means you can stop people from using a similar brand. You are the only one who can use it.
It’s so important to trademark your name. Once your company starts doing well, you’ll see companies popping up with similar branding. They’ll try to confuse your customers and steal your sales. You need the trademark to stop them.
Plus, if someone else trademarks your brand, they’ll own the rights to the name. You’ll likely need to rebrand or file an expensive lawsuit.
So you want to trademark your brand asap.
But you’re also running a business. There’s a lot of things that take time + money. It’s hard to know when to trademark your brand.
Here's how you know it’s the right time…
1. You Have a Great Name or Logo
If you love your brand, then it’s a good idea to trademark it soon.
The better the brand, the more likely that someone sees it and trademarks it first.
Trademark applications are on the rise recently. That means it’s harder to protect a brand, especially in popular industries like cosmetics and apparel.
If you have a brand that speaks to your audience, you should protect it asap.
2. You’re Keeping it for Awhile
A trademark is an investment in your brand.
If you plan to keep your brand for the next few years, then you should protect it.
But it's probably not worth trademarking a brand when you're not 100% invested in it. As long as you know the name is available, it's okay to try out the brand first and see how it works.
Think about trademarking when you know it’s a keeper.
3. You Can Budget For It
A trademark is expensive because it’s really complicated.
It’s not something you should do alone and it takes a lot of work to have an application approved.
It’s an important investment because you need to own your brand.
But it shouldn’t stop you from growing your business.
There are so many expenses you need to take your business to the next level. And it’s hard to do that when your money is tied up in a trademark.
You can start saving for it. Or you can do a monthly payment plan.
For example, we have a $300 monthly payment plan to help with cash flow.
4. Rebranding Would be a Pain
Only one company can own a brand. Typically, it’s whoever trademarks it first.
If another company trademarks your brand first, they’ll own your name nationally. You’ll need to rebrand or file an expensive lawsuit. Both are bad options.
Think about how many places have your branding: your website, social media, business cards, products, marketing materials, press links, inventory, etc.
You'll need to rebrand all of that. You'll lose customers, money, and momentum.
In the beginning, that’s not as bad. As you grow, it’ll become more of an issue.
When rebranding would be a pain, you probably want to trademark it.
5. You Have an Online Following
If you have an online following, you’ll want to protect your brand asap.
Your audience might be instagram followers, blog readers, or podcast listeners.
It only takes one follower to trademark your brand and own the right to use it. You’ll have to pick between an embarrassing rebrand or an expensive lawsuit. Both are bad options.
The more eyeballs on your brand, the more risk that someone steals it.
Own your brand before you share it with your followers.