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How Trademarks Protect Your Business

Frequently, when business owners start a business, they are not concerned with how to protect their business. Instead, they are concerned with how to grow their business so they can survive and profit. However, protecting one's business from the beginning can be an important factor in your success.

Registering your trademark is one way to protect your business. A trademark is crucial when you are in the process of building a brand for your product or service. It serves as legal protection to keep others from trying to infringe on your brand and your business. It is what you use to distinguish your product in the marketplace so that people who have used or heard of your product will end up buying your product instead of the competitor's product. It also illustrates to consumers that you own this product or service.

A registered trademark also provides you with several other protections. Trademarks are registered through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Since the trademark is registered through the federal government, you can enforce your rights regarding your trademarked product or service in federal courts. That means you can defend your rights anywhere in the U.S. no matter what size business you own or where you operate. While you may not think that's important when you're just starting out, it could become an issue soon.

Having a registered trademark also protects your product or business from the competition of foreign products. A registered trademark will allow you to file with the U.S. Customs Service and prevent importation of foreign goods which may infringe on your trademark. Furthermore, registering a trademark is a beginning step in establishing your international rights in case your business goes international. While you may not be thinking about expanding your business internationally, you should still take steps to protect your mark. Given the competitiveness of the global marketplace both of these should be reasons to obtain a registered trademark for your business.

You have some options when you decide to register your trademark. First, you can hire a legal firm which specializes in registering trademarks with the federal government. If you go this route, try to find a firm that has produced relizalbe results in the past. You should expect to pay from $500 to $1,000+. Alternativey, there are companies available online that can greatly assist you in establishing your trademark. The best ones have streamlined the trademark registration process and, with the aid of professional lawyers, have simplieifed the legal complexities. These services cost far less than traditional trademark registration legal fees.

A registered trademark offers many protections to your business. Obtaining one can help your business withstand unfair competition now and in the future.

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