Building a brand isn’t a small feat, and as soon as you become successful, trouble tends to come along. As soon as you become well-known, there is no doubt the eventually some out there is going to try and steal a piece of your spotlight. The problem with many businesses is that they start thinking about this issue when it’s already too late – after someone has already infringed their intellectual property or made money by using a similar name/logo.
This is why it is essential to legally protect your brand on time. By doing this, you will make sure that you don’t have to spend a lot of money defending what is yours and spending a lot of time in court where you will be doing just that. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the things that you need to do before it comes to such a situation.
Make sure that you’ve got everything covered online
Even though your business requires just one domain, the wise thing to do is to purchase every possible variation of it that is out there. So, after getting a .com domain, you should also get the .net and .org ones. The fact is that once you’ve become a well-known and strong brand, your competition is going to go ahead and buy those domains and then sell them to you for a high price.
You should also get a hold of any social media handles and directory listings that are related to you. There are services out there, such as Knowem, which can help you do this a lot easier and quicker.
Register a trademark
You can register a trademark for a distinctive feature that represents your product, service, or business. This could be a symbol, sound, word, phrase, smell, and so on. A trademark will usually last as long as the brand does. In terms of your brand, you can use it to protect your logo and company name. You can also use it for any signature assets, such as a sound, font, or scent.
In order to be sure what you can cover this way and how to do it properly, it would be wise to consult with professionals, such as small business lawyers.
Register a patent
If what you have is an invention or an idea that you want to be protected, especially if it hasn’t been turned into a product yet, then you want to register a patent. This way you will make sure that no one can use that invention to produce anything similar or sell it to someone else. Unlike trademarks, patents expire after some time. It depends on what kind of patent it is, but it usually lasts for some time between 14 and 20 years. The former is generally related to utility patents, while the latter is usually related to design patents.
Patents come in three forms: utility, design, and plant. Or, in other words, function, aesthetics, and botanical plants. What you should know is that an idea itself cannot be protected unless it is incorporated in the form of a process, method, article, machine, composition, plant variety, and the like.
In terms of your brand, patents are related to what you can offer as a business. If it is a genuine invention or an idea, then you want to get it patented.
Register a copyright
A copyright protects original authorial pieces of work. This means items such as books, movies, poems, songs, architecture, software, and so on. Copyrights also expire, but after a longer period than patents. Depending on when they were created, it can last from 70 to 120 years.
In terms of your brand, a trademark coves most of the essentials. However, if you want to protect some of your assets 100%, and have a solid ground in court in case of an infringement, it would be wise to register a copyright.
If you want your brand’s success to remain yours to cherish, without anyone ripping you off and stealing some of your assets, there are various ways that you can protect yourself. The three main methods are registering a copyright, patent, and trademark. You can do other things as well, such as making sure that you own all the domains related to yours, so that no one can steal one from you and drive some of your traffic away from you.