Black Friday is Approaching: Don’t Promote a Brand You Don’t Own

copyright registered trademark trademark trademark application trademark registration Oct 26, 2021

Tis the season to be making your brand stand out from all the rest and making sales like no other. Small business owners worldwide live for Black Friday, because your average consumer lives for it. Potential customers have been saving up for months to partake in the Black Friday sales. And if you’re a savvy business owner, you’ve been preparing for it for quite some time too. But I bet there’s one thing you might’ve overlooked – and that’s brand protection.

Do you own your brand? You definitely shouldn’t be promoting it if you don’t. You’re going to spend a lot of time and money putting your brand out there – advertising online, via social media, and everywhere. Once it’s out there, it’s out there! And I know you want it out there, so people can know you exist and purchase from you. But you also must beware of the people who want to steal from you. And you make it quite easy for them if you haven’t taken the steps to secure your brand.

How do you protect your brand, you ask? That’s easy – with a federally registered trademark. A trademark will protect your business names, product names, signature frameworks, blogs, logos, sounds, smells, names of your podcast...really any terms or designs you use in connection with the goods and services that you provide. And you need to have a federally registered trademark if you want the exclusive right to use your name, logo, slogan or whatever in connection with your products and services. How else will you distinguish yourself in the marketplace? You can’t.

I know you’re probably thinking, it’s much too late to secure a federally registered trademark before Black Friday, buuuuut you can still file an application for registration to secure your rights. When you file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you receive a Serial Number and your filing goes into the USPTO database almost immediately (usually within 72 hours). This means that if someone tries to protect the same or similar mark in association with related goods or services, your application may serve as a bar. 

You definitely want to consult an experienced trademark attorney to assist you in brand protection and ownership so that you can get everything done right the first time. But I do know as a small business owner, money is always an issue, so there are self-help options out there available to you. At the very least, you should become informed on the benefits of trademark protection and other ways to protect your business and brand. 

Wishing you and your business a prosperous Black Friday! 


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