In the business world, you will often hear about blood, sweat, and tears being poured into companies—despite how long they have been around. The marketplace can be extremely competitive, no matter what type of industry you are involved in, and most likely every move you make for your company is taken very seriously. You may have created new products or new services recently, perhaps even hiring independent contractors. Marketing campaigns usually follow, often with new client lists to target, press releases, launch parties, the social media blitz required for today, and more.
It is critical to keep your business, your brand, and your innovations and trade secrets—no matter what form they are created in—protected at all costs. Intellectual property law can be complex, so as your business continues to grow, you should consult with an experienced firm like the Bolender Law Firm to understand more about registering for the appropriate licenses.
While there is much to understand about copyrights and patents too, figuring out what type of intellectual property mark you want may be confusing. The bottom line is that you are working to protect your brand:
Trademark – many of these are famous around the world, from the golden arches, to that swoosh sign on footwear, alerting you to companies you are familiar with and may have purchased from far more than once. In your case, no matter the size of your business, the trademark should allow you not only to separate yourself from the rest of the competition and make you memorable, but in registering for one, you also ensure that you can take legal action against anyone who uses it without your permission. In most cases, having that registered trademark means it is yours.
Service mark – while the name for this mark is self-explanatory, many are not aware of the nuances of registering for variation on the trademark. Designating which services your company supplies to the public, the service mark (designated by an SM symbol, instead of TM) could be a slogan that cleverly explains what you do, and it falls under your intellectual property; again you can use this as your service mark without registering it, but you may not have the necessary legal recourse required if someone steals it.