Cheaper in the Long Run: Research Your Trademark Before You Start Using It

Love your new logo? Got a catchy name for your business? You’ve got to do your own due diligence or you could find yourself in litigation.

“Due diligence” is the process by which you make reasonable investigation of a trademark before you adopt it as the brand for your product or service.

The Lanham Trademark Act requires that you do your due diligence on any mark before you seek registration in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). But even if you don’t want or need to register a trademark, doing your due diligence beforehand will save you time, money, and heartache.

We see all too often what happens when businesses fail to conduct proper due diligence. Someone else was already using the mark (or one very similar to it) for the same product, and then sues the business for trademark infringement. If the business failed to do any investigation to see if that someone else was out there using the mark, the business will be forced to rebrand, and could be liable for damages and attorney’s fees. Litigation is expensive enough – now imagine also having to rename your business and re-do all your branding and marketing materials, your website, your business cards… Knowing before you adopt a trademark will saving you time, money, and headaches.

You can’t simply rely on a Google search or even a search of the USPTO database. You must get a comprehensive search performed and an opinion letter from a lawyer who represents your business’s best interests.

A Comprehensive Search Report is just what it sounds like: we hire a third-party research company to prepare a report containing the comprehensive information you need to assess the availability of your proposed trademark for use and registration in the U.S. across a broad range of sources, including the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, state databases, business publications, and the Internet. Then we review the report and provide you with an analysis of its contents and our opinion on whether or not your trademark can be registered,

Meehle & Jay and Suzanne have been our counsel for Echo Interaction Group since the inception of our company. Her guidance has gone above and beyond the typical small tech business attorney and she's become a trusted advisor to our firm. Her knowledge of small business legal needs and specifically in the technology and startup world have been crucial to the growth of our company.

Carlos Carbonell, CEO, Echo Interaction Group

I couldn't be happier with my decision to hire Meehle & Jay as our entertainment attorneys!  When you deal with a lot of people, it's critical for a business to have all of their i's dotted and their t's crossed, and it's huge relief to know that Meehle & Jay is doing that for us.

Rob Henlon, Fierce Entertainment 

I use Meehle & Jay to represent my Event Planning Business and they are nothing short of phenomenal. Not only do I get email reminders to make sure I am staying on top of my legal priorities, the professional advice they have offered me, in conjunction with their legal expertise, makes me feel confident that I can do business competitively while still having my assets and reputation protected.  A class act all the way around.

Michelle Widmer, Founder & Director of Events, The Empress Table

Davey Jay handles all our company's copyrights. Excellent knowledge and response time, highly recommend this firm.

Rodney E. Luke, President, Luke Brothers Custom Homes

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