OK, Trademarks, great! Why should I even bother with this?
As a wedding or event business, there is no end to all the things that compete for your time and money. I get it. So where do trademarks fit in with this?
Consider this in your cost benefit analysis:
If, down the road, you want to franchise your business, or sell your business to someone else, then whether you have trademarked your business name and/or logo will be very important. No franchisee or potential purchaser is going to want to purchase a business with the risk that someday, they will be the defendant in a trademark infringement case. Verifying that you own the right to use that name or logo puts that fear to bed, and actually can increase your business’ value. Have you ever watched Shark Tank? That’s like always one of their first questions after “Do you have a patent,” is “Do you have a trademark?”
The earlier in your business life that you register your mark, the stronger your mark is going to be by the time that you actually do end up franchising or selling. So, it might be worth the investment sooner rather than later if that is your ultimate goal.
Aside from selling or franchising, registering your trademark might be a good idea just to solidify your spot in the market and prevent YOU from having to stop using YOUR name because it infringes on SOMEONE ELSE. In other words, you are buying PIECE OF MIND. You might never ever have to sue someone for infringement, but it feels good to know that you won’t have to worry about infringing on someone else.
How Do I Register my Trademark?
Once you have decided on a mark, hopefully either arbitrary, fanciful, or suggestive, how do you actually register your trademark?
Registering a trademark is normally going to consist of two steps: Conducting a search of Federal and State databases to make sure what you want to trademark is not already taken, and then applying online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The application process can be fairly daunting if you are unfamiliar, so you may want to consider retaining an attorney, although it is not necessary.