In the health and beauty industry, branding is everything. A strong brand leads to greater customer loyalty, which you know is essential to your growth in the industry. For this reason, it is crucial for you to protect your brand through federal trademark registration in the United States. The following trademark tips for beauty brands show you how to develop and protect your brand.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, will not register your trademark if a similar mark is already in use. Unfortunately, some business owners fall in love with a name and often begin to build their brand around it, without knowing if it’s already in use. Moving forward with a business or product name that already exists, no matter how much you love it, maybe a risky decision. Ultimately, if you move forward and use a trademark that is too close to someone else’s, you could be asked to stop sales and production immediately and then rebrand.
One way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to develop your trademark in the same way that many of the largest corporations do. Avoid falling head over heels for a single mark, and instead, choose several possible options. Next, do a quick “knock-out” search online, a very basic search to see if any of your choices are already in use. If so, eliminate them right away. Then, take your remaining options to your trademark attorney to conduct a thorough trademark search. You may find that all of your choices have been taken or may cause confusion in the marketplace. If that is the case, you may need to go back to the drawing board. However, you could learn that one or more of your trademark options are free and clear to use. In that case, choose the mark that is most unique and move forward with trademark registration as soon as possible.
2. Register with the USPTO
It’s true that simply using your beauty brand’s trademark in the marketplace will grant you some protections, but these are extremely limited. Not only are they more challenging to enforce, but they also only protect you in the small, geographic region where your beauty business is based. This may be fine for those that plan to keep the business local, selling at regional farmer’s markets or boutiques, but most beauty businesses have their eyes on much larger growth potential. If you plan to do business outside your region, you should register your beauty brand’s trademark with the USPTO.
With a federal trademark registration, you’ll have the presumption of nationwide validity. This means that if you expand your business to another area of the country, your trademark protections will follow you. In addition, the date that you file your application with the USPTO will become your priority date. Anyone looking to file a similar mark will likely be refused. For this reason, if you haven’t already begun the process to register your mark, now is the time to start.