How do you protect your brand?
So, how do you protect your brand or your trademark? There really is only one way and that’s by getting it registered as a trademark. Having a domain name or a company name or a business name will not give you the protection that you need, you have to have it on the trademarks register.
In most countries, you can do this yourself, usually you have to be in the country that you want protection in. So if you’re living in Australia and you want to register it in the US, you may have to have an address in the US to be able to register the trademark in the US. So you can do it yourself, but my recommendation is to get somebody who’s a professional to do it for you. Get somebody who’s not only a trademark attorney, but somebody who also has experience in defending trademarks in court and also who has a significant number of registrations under their belt.
I have got more than a thousand registrations under my belt and obviously there’s things that I would know about the trademark process that somebody who’s done one or two might not know about. I had a client once come to me and she had went to her lawyer to get her trademark registered and initially it seemed to go okay, but then they hit some problems and at that stage, she came to me and she said, “Look my lawyer said he could do it, what do I do now?” And I asked her, “What kind of a lawyer is he? How do you know him, and what work has he done for you before?” And she told me that he was her divorce lawyer. she should’ve asked him what his experience with trademarks was before trusting him with her trademark registration.
So you can do it yourself, but I have seen so many people make mistakes, not get it right and waste money on government fees, filing in classes that they didn’t even need to pay for. If you are going to do it yourself, I recommend that you find out as much about trademarks as you can and get yourself knowledgeable so that you can give yourself the best possible protection and the best chance of getting your trademark registered. Also be aware that it takes seven and a half months to get the trademark through, and to get a certificate of registration. That’s the quickest it will happen, so if you are filing an application now, you need to give yourself that lead in time, because you don’t get the trademark protection until it’s registered. So bear that in mind when you’re getting your trademark protection. My name is Cathryn Warburton and I am the Legal Lioness.