I am always amazed at how naive otherwise-brilliant business professionals can be about the Internet. I cannot tell you how many times I have had customers tell me that their trademark is protected because they put it online. The first time I heard a customer say that, I actually had to stop and collect myself.
It is dangerous to assume that anything is safe on the Internet, especially your trademark. Just because your company put your logo on a website does not mean that the world recognizes that logo as yours. If you want to protect your trademark online, then you need to be diligent and persistent.
Make Sure You File The Proper Paperwork
I talk to people all of the time who think that the Internet is some kind of universal trademark protector, which it is not. Before you start using your trademark online, you need to file the proper paperwork to protect it. That is where someone like myself would come into play. I will work with you to make sure that your trademark is protected in every one of your target markets. Just remember that I cannot help you if your trademark is not registered.
Your Trademark Needs To Stand Out
Whenever I design a logo or put together any kind of corporate image, I always get opinions from some of my colleagues. If any of them look at my ideas and say that those ideas look remotely familiar, then I scrap them. If you want a trademark that you can protect online, then you need a unique-looking presence that is easy to identify.
You Need To Use That Trademark To Protect It
Once I have your trademark protected through my legal means, then it is up to you to use it. You need to get your trademark out there for consumers to see if you want to protect it. How does exposing your trademark help you to protect it? Because it will establish that it is your trademark and that it is active. If you don’t use your trademark, then it could be harder to stop someone else from using it behind your back.
Stop Others From Using Your Trademark
As a corporate image fanatic, I am constantly looking to see which companies are trying to rip off popular logos, taglines, and color schemes. If I see something that resembles a trademark that belongs to one of my clients, then I report it. The best way to protect your trademark online is to hire someone like me to keep a constant eye on the Internet and make sure that no one is stealing your company’s intellectual property.
Your corporate trademark is the image you use to present yourself to your customers. I had a project where I spent weeks creating a corporate image for a client, then had to fight with the client to get the international trademark paperwork filed. The Internet is a free-for-all when it comes to regulating content. If you want to protect your corporate trademark online, then you need to be active and you need to have an experienced professional on your side.
Photo credit: Blaise Alleyne