You’ve got a great idea for a product. You know who you want to market to and have found a manufacturer to help you make the prototypes.
Before you start branding and marketing your product, you’d be wise to learn about intellectual property.
Disclaimer – I am not a lawyer, you should consult an attorney who specializes in patents and trademarks. Patents can help give legal rights to the creator of the product, this can ensure that other people and companies cannot use that idea in other ways. Patents are a positive thing to have, especially when marketing your business to investors, for example. They look even better when shown to investors in a patent plaque too. In order to start applying for a patent, meet with an attorney.
It is surprising how often a company will want to get a logo designed before there has been any trademark or service mark search and after they’ve spent all the time to tweak the logo (as well as the budget set aside to develop it), they find out they can’t use the name or design because it’s too similar to another mark. Don’t let this happen to you!
Regardless of whether you’re a land or online business, it is important that your trademark is unique to your business, and if it is too similar to another trademark, then you could be prevented from using it. That’s why this process should be one of the first things that you think about during the creation stage. Many infringement claims have been made on Amazon, as many different versions of the same product are being sold with questionable reliability. People can use your business name or trademark to do this, and therefore it may be in your best interest to contact an amazon trademark infringement attorney to find out what rights you have in this regard, in the hope that this doesn’t happen to you or another business again. That’s why it is important that you know how to protect what is rightly yours at the earliest convenience.
Before You Market It, Protect It
Do you know the difference between a trademark registration, patent and copyright?
1) A patent only protects your idea in the country that you’ve filed it and only for a specified amount of time.
2) A trademark protects the word or symbol you use (like a logo or name) to trade the product or service. It can last indefinitely as long as you continue to use it.
3) A copyright covers an author’s work, applying to original works of literature, music, software, whether they are published or unpublished. You can NOT copyright your product’s name, tag line or logo… that’s where a trademark comes in.
Learn more from Nolo, LegalZoom, the United States Patent and Trademark Office for patent search, trademark search and the U.S. Copyright office.