Business is difficult, and legal compliance doesn’t make it any easier. However, contracts are something you have to get use to as a business owner. There are many things that you can walk yourself through, particularly on the compliance side, as there are state agencies that make proactive efforts to help you meet regulatory obligations. However, contracts are an area where you are set out in the woods on your own.
Do you suggest I trademark my company name? Also, is trademarking something I can do or do I need to hire a lawyer?
Filing for a trademark is a relatively inexpensive process. If your company name or a product name is unique it is something you may want to do. From the viewpoint of an attorney, risk-averse and looking to maximize protections, a safeguard like a trademark always sounds like a great idea if you have the budget for it. The process can take some time, in some cases a year or more, and requires the “mark” your company name or logo being published in a federal publication with a period of time for anyone to oppose the mark before it finally becomes yours. There are certain requirements, such as using the mark in the “stream of commerce”—basically being an active business within a certain time of applying for the mark. There is a lot of information on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) website (www.uspto.gov) and you can even apply online. Some states also allow you to register a trademark within the state as well.
Brandi Howard is a Partner at Young, Howard, & Humphrey, P.C. She is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas and a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law. If you have further questions, you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org