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How to Protect and Defend Your Brand

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Earlier this month, The University of North Texas resolved a conflict involving Michigan State University and the misuse of their trade marked "mean green" mascot. ESPN referred to Michigan State as the "Mean Green" team, which is the official name of all of UNT Athletics. The athletic Director for UNT sent out a cease and dismiss letter to ESPN and Michigan State to solve the issue. The University of North Texas did good job of PROTECTING and DEFENDING their brand. Before your company has a misstep with intellectual property litigation, consider these tips for developing and protecting a brand:

Make it unique. While it’s tempting to choose a common name, these choices are often difficult to protect.

Conduct a thorough search. Search on the Internet to see if the name you are contemplating already exists. Go past the first page or two of search results – take the time to scour them all before you proceed. In addition, be sure you conduct a trademark search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website for the intended name as well as variations on that name.

Register the name. As soon as you have cleared your name, register your trademarks quickly. Be sure the name is registered in all the classes that pertain to your business. You will need the assistance of a business attorney to do this properly.

Protect the brand. Set up a Google Alert on each of your trademarks so you will know if someone else is using your brand name. If you discover that someone has appropriated your brand name or a similar version, have a cease-and-desist letter sent immediately.

If you are interested in learning more about business asset protection strategies, call us today at 940-591-0600 to schedule your comprehensive LIFT™ (legal, insurance, financial and tax) Foundation Audit. Normally, this session is $1,250, but if you mention this article and we still have room on our calendar this month, we will waive that fee.

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