Serial entrepreneurs and successful companies know the importance of protecting their intellectual property.
Not only do they know the benefits of intellectual property protection in the event they want to sell the company but also know that problems involving trademarks can be devastating to their businesses.
How the serial entrepreneur protects its trademark assets…
Before a serial entrepreneur starts a new company or launches a new product, she consults her trademark attorney to clear its name, product names, logo and/or slogan. Once the marks are clear, her trademark attorney files intent to use applications with the trademark office. The filing of an intent to use application prevents competitors from gaining priority to the marks before the entrepreneur’s company is up and running and is able to use the marks.
Therefore, shortly after the first sale of the company’s service or product, the serial entrepreneur’s company may obtain trademark registrations for the marks it applied to register. The company’s priority of ownership of the trademark will be based on the date the application was filed. Therefore, if Company Y began use of the mark after Company X filed the application, Company X can show its greater rights to the mark under trademark law. Successful business people know that “first to file” is the secret.
The serial entrepreneur seals the deal for greater value…
The serial entrepreneur confidently hands over its company’s trademark registrations to the purchasing company’s lawyers during the due diligence period knowing that its intellectual property will not be a stumbling block or deal breaker in the purchase of her company. Companies that cannot produce trademark registrations to the buyer’s attorneys may end up losing significant value and credibility at the time of negotiation over the purchase price. They may even lose an interested buyer entirely.
Many sophisticated business people consider not protecting trademarks with federal registrations a warning sign that the company has not taken care of important matters. This lack of confidence in the company could require more thorough due diligence and reveal other inadequacies. Additionally, more due diligence costs the buyer more money in legal fees thereby potentially reducing the purchase price.
When something goes wrong with a trademark, the serial entrepreneur is ready…
Savvy business people want to avoid having to change their company name, slogan, and/or logo because a competitor has a trademark registration for the same or a confusingly similar mark. When faced with changing the name or other trademark, a business person can truly appreciate how much value exists in a company’s trademarks. Having the same name for many years assists in client loyalty, name recognition, and customer confidence in the brand. The change in a trademark can hit at the core of a business—its clients and customers. Successful business people insure against this by protecting their intellectual property.
Serial entrepreneurs also know they do not want to be in a position in which the company cannot stop a competitor quickly and efficiently from using its name, slogan and/or logo. See my post-Benefit from the Power and Efficiency of a Trademark Registration. A serial entrepreneur has trademark registrations and a trademark attorney to assist him in these situations.
Learn from these inside secrets and obtain protection today for greater confidence and greater value