Putting on my more “Marketing Hat” on this article, I have had some interesting conversations with my awesome colleague Suzanne Harrington. She is a friend of mine who is a Trademark Specialist and spends a great deal of her time protecting her clients Identity, Logos, Names and the like.
She also spends her time helping clients defend themselves when they get “that letter” that tells them to take something down by another company that claims to own it. When I work with clients, quite often we have to build things from scratch. I have helped people name their companies, products, develop personal branding and even given lots of critique as to their logo design & colours.
One thing I always say to my clients when this is done, is “Please check with someone like Suzanne to ensure that you can use this and get away with it!”
I have had clients design logos that look like Intel, Apple, Boost Juice Bars and when I work with them – I am usually on their case making sure they don’t get a funny letter 8 – 12 months from now telling them to cease using it. I have had some clients that previously got into lots of trouble in this area. Be it having to change company names, redo their logos and throw out lots of printed materials.
If you are in business and you are planning on being around for a long time and having quite a large profile / footprint, I think it’s very important to get some checks done at the very least when it comes to your Naming Convention & Identity. Doing a Google & ASIC Company Search is a start and it gives some information to help business owners to evaluate how much risk they are taking on. This doesn’t provide any significant protection however in itself (and it’s good to be honest with yourself on that front).
A good example of this is say if you are promoting your business on Facebook. You can say be seen thousands of times per day and you only need one person to “Catch You” and take some form of action against you. I know people this has happened too! Who knows whether this will happen to you or not and this debate is almost in the “Insurance” type of discussion (i.e. “I am healthy so I don’t need Health Insurance?”).
In all objectivity from my own viewpoint, some business owners will have trouble justifying the protection for their own potential risk level (rightly or wrongly).
HOWEVER – if you are say spending lots of money and taking something quite seriously – it’s worth speaking to a Trademark Specialist big time. If you are saying going to spend tens of thousands on all of your marketing materials from Websites, to Business Cards, to Product Boxes, to Booklets and the like – I think it’s really important to get that layer of protection in right away.
If you are reading this article and getting nervous by what I am saying thinking that you may get “a letter” or run a good risk of it happening, I would strongly suggest you do something about it and get some professional advice in this area. I have proudly promoted my Trusted Friend Suzanne Harrington many times and you can visit her Company Website Pinnacle TMS right here.
Love your work, thank you for the read and trust this helps you on your Profitable Quest for Glory!
About the Author:
Edward Zia is a Marketing Mentor, Blogger, Commentator and 4Networking Leader. He is a massive fan of Suzanne (obviously) in the article and spends his time working with clients, running workshops and writing compelling content. He really hoped you enjoy this blog and if you like what you see, check out his Premium Home Study Course “The Awesome Marketing Vault” Right Here!