Hey friend – welcome back to the blog with a topic this week that I’ve been getting asked about SO MUCH recently. It’s a good thing I’m getting asked this question, because this means that my sweet clients are growing, becoming more successful and are wanting to protect themselves (and their businesses) at the same time. This post is going to be packed with information so let’s dive right in.
Like any big brand out there (think Walmart, Target, Apple, Nike), small businesses are entitled to equal protection when it comes to copy-write, legal protections, etc. If your private practice is growing larger in clientele, followers online, memberships, brand collaborations, etc, a trademark ensures that other businesses (other dietitians as an example) will receive penalties for using anything remotely similar to your design or brand. In short, trademarks keep copycats away from your business, legally.
It’s super unfortunate that we live in a world where we have to be worried, anxious or even considerable that other business owners would copy your designs or brand as a whole. However, trademarking your brand also protects your approach, your memberships, your information; which is huge.
From observation with our clients, it’s important to think about trademarks when multiple offers to multiple clientele is coming into the business plan. Are you offering memberships with thousands of students? Are you growing your practices’ exposure on social media by hundreds of thousands of eyes? This is a good starting point to determine if trademarking is the right move for you.
The trademarking process is really lengthy and costly, so not everyone trademarks their brand immediately. Let’s move into that next.
First and foremost, it’s very important to consider the type of logo you are trademarking. As the owner of a design business, it’s our full recommendation that you get a professional branding completed if you are considering a trademark. There are multiple legal reasons as to why you cannot trademark pre-made logos on public softwares such as Canva.
After you have completed your branding with a professional designer, this is when you’d be in contact with your lawyer. With them, you’d begin doing research to ensure that there is no other business name similar, remotely similar or identical to your current name or design. A trademark application can be immediately rejected if there is too much similarity from a business that is already established.
If the research shows that you are good to move forward, your lawyer will most likely move forward with your application process. Because I’m not a lawyer, I cannot necessarily speak on the legal terms involved within writing this application, but I can say they most likely will write details about your business, your process and your branding to convey why it needs a trademark and why it is completely different and unique to anything else out there.
The application process can take anywhere from three months to three years and ranges between $200-$1,000 depending on the complexity of your business.
Based off of previous clients’ requests, there will be specific(s) that we (as the designers) need to provide to you and your lawyer if you are wanting to trademark your logos. This might include specific dimensions and pixels for your different logo formats, all black variations, etc. We recommend chatting with your lawyer and designer directly to ensure that your designer can provide the correct information to you for your trademark to be approved.
If you have completed all of the above and have been approved, you will be sent documents that detail your trademark and legal usages. This now means that you can legally sue for any unlawful use of your branding or your approaches that you may come across as you are growing your business.
Trademarks only last 10 years – so be sure to renew them to ensure you stay protected.
If you are a dietitian considering trademarking your brand, approach and memberships, contact Chloe Creative to ensure it’s professionally (and beautifully) done. You can apply for a discovery call on our Contact Page to chat details and potential timelines to get started. We have 4 spots for July left!