As the marketplace continues to grow and new online businesses emerge daily, business owners must be diligent about protecting their brands through trademarking. Trademarks identify the source of a product, such as a company logo or name, and help to protect your brand from being infringed upon. Registering your trademark early in the life of your brand is helpful if litigation is needed since you can rely on your registered rights. Luxury brands and goods are especially at risk for attempts at trademark infringement, as copycats want to take advantage of the success of your brand for their own gain.
When your brand is established as a luxury brand, you may be at higher risk of being a victim of trademark infringement. Counterfeit luxury goods, such as knock-off designer handbags and jewelry, are a big problem for businesses. According to the Organization for Economic Operation and Development, counterfeit products may cost the economy up to $250 billion each year globally.
Luxury goods are likely to be counterfeited since they are more valuable, which can benefit both the seller and buyer of counterfeit items — sellers can sell more of the product, and buyers can purchase “designer” items at lower prices. In some cases, however, the buyer is unaware that the item they are purchasing is counterfeit, as they could be paying full price for a knock-off item.
Federally registering your trademark protects your brand across the United States. State-level trademark registration is an option, but when dealing with luxury goods, you will likely want a federal trademark to ensure protection across the U.S. Once your business holds a trademark registration certificate, you will have validity over those with non-registered trademarks who infringe on your trademark. This means you can enforce your rights if others attempt to infringe on your trademark.
The first recommended step when considering trademarking your business is to seek an experienced trademark law attorney to support you through the process. Trademark law is complex, and you want to be sure the process is done correctly the first time to avoid spending an unnecessary amount of time and money. Typically, in the United States, the process can take eight to 10 months, so you will want to avoid delays as much as possible. An attorney can help you understand the different types of trademarks that may apply to your business and help you through the process of registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO):
If you are offering a luxury good or service, working with a lawyer experienced in trademark law is crucial to protecting your brand. Trademark registration is complex, so attempting to complete the process alone can be risky. At Four Reasons Legal, we have been helping companies with their trademark and copyright needs for over 15 years. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an attorney and discuss your company’s trademarking needs.