Stacey Bothwell asks the question, “Are you protecting your brand properly?
How do you distinguish your goods and services from others in the marketplace? Is it a quirky logo? Is it a coined word? Is it a piece of property that you have adequately protected? Are you protecting your brand?
Nike spends millions of dollars a year protecting and promoting its brand. It’s one of its most vital assets. That’s because without that swoosh, it’s just another running shoe in the sports store. In today’s world of cyber squatters and serial entrepreneurs, it is even more important to search the availability of your chosen brand before you invest too much in signage. A few quick searches are well worth doing.
It may sound simple and natural but have you Googled your new business name? A simple Google search can reveal possible competing businesses with the same or similar names. A more in depth search called a NUANS search (Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search) can show business is incorporated or otherwise using a similar name. And in particular, the search can reveal registered trademarks which are marks that are protected under the federal Trademark Act. A registered trademark provides an owner with Canada-wide protection against another individual using the same or similarly confusing mark, logo, design.
A registered trademark agent can perform the necessary preliminary searches, prepare an application, assist through the prosecution phase and once registered, enforce the rights granted from the registration. Your brand can be one of your most valuable assets, you may not need to spend millions per year protecting it, but don’t underestimate the amount of attention you should spend on searching, confirming its availability, registering it and protecting your brand.