Monday, November 3, 2008

Small Business gets burned by Trademark

Small Business gets burned by Trademark

It never ceases to amaze me how often small businesses overlook trademark issues. I keep seeing cases where they get burned on this. Case in point: small local construction business grows their niche to become one of the largest companies in the region over a 10-15 year period, only to find a letter in the mail telling them to stop using their business name and logo. They had spent years and significant funds branding this business -advertising on TV, Radio, in phone books, on the web, and in direct marketing campaigns.

In cases like this, the costs to a small business can be over six figures, either in attorneys fees and/or in loss of goodwill and changes to the business brand--even in losing a website domain name!

Many new businesses wait until they have been using a name or logo for months or even years before seeking counsel on trademark issues. This can be extremely detrimental and many business find out the hard way that they can no longer use a name or logo. This results in substantial costs and loss of business goodwill by forcing a business to change their logo, name, web page domain name, signs, business cards, etc.

Business that are even thinking of using a new business name or brand name should start the process by consulting a trademark attorney and not wait until it is too late.

To read more on trademarks, see the trademark article on my resources page here: