Love your business name? Have a cool new logo? Great! But what are you doing to make sure it’s really yours?
Let’s bust a few myths:
Registering with the State does NOT protect your business name. People often mistakenly think that if they have registered with the State (as an LLC or Fictitious Name, for example) this means that the name is rightfully theirs. Not true! The State will only block the registration of an exact match within Florida. It does not pertain to trademark rights.
Marks don’t need to be exact to be an infringement. The standard for trademark infringement is “likelihood of confusion,” which means that the names or images needn’t be exact. Furthermore, they could be in a different market and still conflict!
Owning the URL is NOT enough to protect you. Owning a domain name does not mean that you have the rights to the name. In fact, you could be accused of cybersquatting and trademark infringement by the owner of a similar name.
Even small businesses can run into big trademark problems. Small businesses routinely invest 10% to 20% of their gross revenue on marketing. If it turns out that another company asserts that you are infringing on their mark, you could lose all of that money spent, plus all of the name recognition, your domain name, and every physical item that bears the infringing mark. Yikes!
It’s actually cheaper to use an attorney! We use a predictable flat fee structure with no surprises. It’s much cheaper to have a comprehensive search performed to make sure your use is clear, followed by properly filed applications with the USPTO to secure the maximum enforcement of your marks, than the potential cost of losing the name you’ve worked so hard to build!
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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