How do I protect my small business name?
Trademark. A trademark can protect the name of your business, goods, and services at a national level. Trademarks prevent others in the same (or similar) industry in the U.S. from using your trademarked names.
Can a trademark have two owners?
Yes, you can trademark something with joint ownership. A trademark can have multiple owners. If two or more parties wish to acquire joint ownership, they may file jointly for the trademark. As with any trademark, a jointly owned trademark must be used to promote or sell goods or services.
Should my LLC own my trademark?
Usually, a LLC or corporation develops a mark to identify itself as a source of goods or services. Since it applies the mark to the goods or uses it in advertising, it (not its owners!) is the correct owner.
Can someone use your business name?
If someone uses your name, simply showing proof that you’ve trademarked the name could be enough to convince a business to choose something else. Most importantly, if you must go to court, you’ll have legal proof that you registered the name. However, you don’t have to trademark your business name to protect it.
Can you patent an idea for free?
The simple answer is no—you cannot patent an idea for an invention. The invention itself has to be produced or a patent application containing the invention must be filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While all inventions start with an idea, not every idea can be called an invention.
Is it worth registering a trademark?
Registering your company name as a trademark has a number of benefits, including: It will prevent other people from stealing and using your trademark. The protection provided by having a registered trademark is stronger than “common law” protections which will apply when your trademark is unregistered.
Does Google steal your ideas?
There are some risks to conducting Google patent searches online, one of them being that certain marketing companies track and monitor keyword searches, potentially allowing an employee to steal your idea without you ever knowing how this came about.
What qualifies for a trademark?
Two basic requirements must be met for a mark to be eligible for trademark protection: it must be in use in commerce and it must be distinctive. The first requirement, that a mark be used in commerce, arises because trademark law is constitutionally grounded in the congressional power to regulate interstate commerce.
Can someone use the same business name?
You can often use the same business name in your own state or another state, if it is not in the state where the business name is filed, and it doesn’t violate trademark rules. This is common practice for smaller local businesses.
Can people steal ideas?
Ideas are most likely to be stolen when action has already taken place — there is a vision and plan on paper. Several examples showed ideas being stolen when a plan-of-action, proof-of-concept, and research were attached to it. If you give someone a treasure map don’t be mad when they follow it.
How do I make sure no one can steal my business name?
To be sure no one improperly uses your business’s name or branding, you need to obtain a trademark. To do so, you’ll need to file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Filing an application does not automatically mean your trademark will be approved.
Can companies steal ideas?
Many entrepreneurs are surprised to learn that stealing someone else’s business idea is often perfectly legal. In most cases, unless the idea is protected by a trademark, patent or copyright, other businesses can take the idea and run with it.
How do I protect my startup idea?
4 Steps to Protect Your Startup Idea
- Talk to a lawyer and get your documents in order. Have a lawyer go over your idea to determine which aspects of it can be copyrighted, trademarked or patented.
- Be discerning about the people you work with.
- Invest in ideas that are difficult to copy.
Who should be the owner of a trademark?
The party who controls the nature and quality of the goods and services used in connection with the brand should be the trademark owner. This is an important decision and naming the proper owner for purposes of registration is critical to maintaining a valid trademark.