Potential Trademark Issues Associated when Creating a Name for Your Business
In the development of a business plan, critical features include choosing a name for a business entity, developing a marketing plan, promoting the name and business and eventually establishing a domain name and web presence. While it is tempting to name the business in the early stages to establish an identity for the new venture, this is a risk-filled endeavor as few businesses have properly secured trademark rights and registrations for the new name.
Frequently, the first attempt of naming the new business venture is the establishment of a domain name; for example www.mynewbusinessname.com. Many new businesses rush, enthusiastically, to secure this domain name at the very early planning stages and before the venture has launched to ensure that the domain name will be available for future use. While this may seem a prudent step, the very first task in naming this new venture should be to secure the Federal trademark clearance and registration of the business name and trademark. Far too often, new ventures invest significant resources in securing a domain name prior to clearing and securing the Federal trademark registration. Many issues often arise if these critical steps are not taken to clear and register the Federal trademark.
Establishing First Use of the Trademark in Commerce
The new entity may be staking its claim and starting to accrue common law rights in its name by use of the name in commerce even if a United States trademark application is not filed. Common law rights have limitations and cannot replace the benefits gained by filing a United States trademark application. Further, a new entity may be staking its claim and starting to garner rights to the name over competitors with its first date of actual use of the trademark in conjunction with the goods or services in interstate commerce but again, this actual use cannot replace the benefits gained by filing a United States trademark application.