Top 10 Trademark Mistakes Small Business Makes for their Startup

by Josh Biggs in Business on 29th May 2020

Does your organization require the trademark? Of course yes. The primary function of a trademark is to differentiate the products or services offered by other traders in the market. Therefore, a trademark plays a vital role in every organization as it not only recognizes a trader but also communicates to customers or clients about the products or services.

A trademark can be a symbol, word or a combination of colour, shape or typestyle. Trademark is used to represent brand products or services. Keeping it simple, a business logo is also called a trademark.

If you’re planning to run a startup business, it’s crucial to establish, manage and protect your trademarks right from start to finish. Otherwise, you’re exposed to high risk. There are several trademark mistakes that few small businesses make for their startup.

Your Brand Name is not your Trademark

Business name and trademark are considered as valuable assets to every organization. The trademark is often associated with a business identity. While incorporating your business, registering your business name is the initial step. Your business name will be approved to operate your business with the brand name within the province or under federal legislation.

If your business name is not similar to the brand name of your organization, then you can take help of a business lawyer and register the business or trademark name legally. They offer service for commercial agreements, corporate governance, secured lending transactions, shareholder rights and more. If you want to use a business name as the trademark, you need to file an application with the intellectual property office.

Never Registered your trademark

As a business entrepreneur, it is important to protect your trademark. Consider conversions, you may lose sales when there is another business opened up using your trademark. If you want to build an effective brand and generate profits, then you need to protect your trademark.

Registration of a trademark should be your top priority. There is a loophole associated with handling and protecting the unregistered business. If you want to protect your business from reputation and financial resources, registering your trademark is important.  The registered brands are pretty simple to build trust among customers and protect themselves.

Not yet updated trademark on social media profiles

Have you protected your trademark on social media profiles? No!!! Assume, someone else has registered your trademark on their social media profiles, it can be difficult to stop them. The risk is involved when they start promoting their product or services with your brand name and trademark. When the products or services don’t match with your business name, the customer may get confused. Ultimately, you’ll end up losing potential customers. Develop a domain name and trademark strategy to prevent such problems.

Have a look across the web, you can find successful business implementing effective social media strategies. Register your trademark on popular social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Start promoting your products or services with your brand name and trademark.

Your brand name is descriptive

It can be a difficult task for entrepreneurs to come up with a unique and great brand name. Choosing the perfect business name is the best way to protect a trademark. While choosing a business name, you need to follow several factors. Research and learn how to select a powerful brand name that can easily trademark without investing more time or money. 

The brand name should be simple i.e. easy to read. Never ever create a descriptive business name. When the brand name is descriptive, the chances of trademarking is less. In fact, you may face several challenges to trademark. Choose a unique, attractive and powerful brand name.

Assuming that logo is enough and trademark registration is not required

Have you created a powerful brand name? Designed an attractive logo for your business? Yes!!! You’re doing a great job. If you assume that brand logo is just enough and trademark registration is not necessary. You’re at high risk. Though you’ve created a logo, you should register it as a trademark. Registering your trademark is an important aspect to protect and enforce your legal rights to it.

It’s no secret that “Common Law” is on your side. But, it’s important to register your trademark if you want to recoup lost social profiles or collect money damages.

Searched trademark in the USPTO database and assumed that trademark is available

“The United States Patent and Trademark Office” is an organization for trademark registration and intellectual identification. Conducting and researching a trademark in the USPTO database or other online search platforms is the initial step for the business owner. When you’ve found no search results to your trademark, you assume that the trademark is available for you. Keep a note, the USPTO database doesn’t provide conflicting marks because of the common law. Though there are several trademark search providers online, you just can’t blindly trust these free online service providers. As they display limited search results. Since these providers don’t implement “comprehensive trademark searches”. Investing in a comprehensive search is the best way to start using your trademark in the marketplace.

Assuming the trademark covers the use of a mark for almost everything around the world

This is not even close. Yes, you’ve heard it right. Your trademark will cover the usage of the marks for your business products or services as mentioned in the trademark registration. It’s mandatory for a business entrepreneur to read the terms and conditions at least twice while registering their trademark. 

Therefore it’s important to hire a business lawyer to work with legal compliance and intellectual property attorneys. Also, business lawyers are capable of writing product or service descriptions on a trademark application. 

Failed to maintain your trademark

The chance of losing your trademark will be high when you fail to maintain it. Therefore, it is important to maintain the trademark according to the guidelines. Check the renewal and update your trademark registration, make sure it is done on time. While renewing your trademark, you need to submit a set of documents for quarterly, half-yearly or annually. Because someone else would register your trademark. If you failed to renew the trademark, you need to re-register your trademark right from the scratch.

Stopped monitoring your trademark

Trademark monitoring is an important part of your business. Enforcement of trademark terms and conditions is your responsibility. These rights will help to monitor your trademark deeply. When you’ve got to know about infringement in the initial stages, you can easily stop them. Therefore, monitoring your trademark is important to ensure that other businesses don’t use your trademark. Develop a habit of researching the online trademark search to discover the potential breach to your business.

Having a poor legal counsel

There are few startup companies  that hire inexperienced legal counsel to save budget. This can be risky for the business. Founders need to interview several law firms and choose the best business lawyer for their business. The legal counsel should know about legal areas such as

  • Corporation law
  • Securities law
  • Commercial law
  • Contract law
  • Employment law
  • Tac law
  • Real estate law
  • Employment law
  • Intellectual property law
  • Data security and 
  • Privacy law

It’s necessary for a business lawyer to have good experience so that they can handle different situations.


Trademarks play a prominent role and key brand assets for small businesses. The customer can easily identify your products or services with other providers in the market. For startups, it’s crucial to establish and protect your trademarks right from scratch. Otherwise, an entrepreneur can face several issues while running your business. Follow these strategies and improve sales, profits and revenue.

Categories: Business