Trademark issues when choosing a business name?

Updated 7 months ago ​by Julian Cordero

One of the things that many entrepreneurs overlook when choosing a name for their business or product is trademark clearance. Trademarks offer protections to existing brands on a federal and state level (generally). 

Many times, after a company has invested a considerable amount of resources into building a new brand, it will receive the dreaded cease and desist letter informing that the new company is infringing someone else's trademark rights. 

While sometimes these letters don't have merit, sometimes they do. Either way, whether you have to rename your company/product or fight the claims made in the cease and desist letter, it is going to cost you money to do so. 

These issues can be avoided by having a trademark lawyer do a trademark search to clear the name of the company or product you are trying to brand. There are several types of searches that can be done which vary in complexity and speaking to a trademark lawyer to evaluate which type of search is best may be in your best interest. 

If a trademark search is not an option, at the very least do a few free trademark searches yourself on the United States Patent and Trademark Office database. While not anywhere near the complexity of search most potential brands need to be done, it will at least alert you to any apparent issues. 



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