If your business was local or your sales were primarily in one state or a few, you may be surprised to know that once you started selling your goods on the Internet, you went global. Perhaps you’ve been putting off registering or trademarking your business due to budgetary constraints, but you’re more visible online, so you’re also more prone to trademark pirates and other issues.

Today we sat with girl boss Attorney Kimra Major-Morris to give us some insiders on the importance of trademarking your business.

Kimra Major-Morris is a top-rated intellectual property attorney at Major-Morris Law, a nationally published author, and television host of Telly-Award winning show Legal Connections. Her clients include global brands and creatives, professional athletes, influencers, and victims’ families by sealing the legacies of their loved ones through intellectual property ownership and licenses.

So, first things first, why is it important to trademark your business?

With a registered trademark, you have nationwide rights to protect against infringement. Businesses with registered trademarks are valued higher. The more well-known the company is, the more valuable the trademark will become. Trademarks are assets that can be passed on for generational wealth. Trademark rights can be leveraged to generate income through licensing and co-branding deals. To summarize, it’s a good business strategy to invest in the exclusive right to use your brand name.

Are there ways to protect your business if a person is unable to afford the legal process of trademarking?

 One of the biggest ways to lose trademark rights is to ignore infringers. Whether you have a registration or not, you can notify them that you were using the trademark first once you become aware of another user. Trademark rights are based on who used the mark first to sell products or services. Business owners should also set up alerts when their brand names are mentioned online. This can be done with Google Alerts, which is a free service. Someone might also want to register a state trademark, which usually runs about $100. However, state rights are just what they sound like. They don’t protect you outside of your state – which is essential for virtual businesses. Finally, it’s never too early to invest in a comprehensive search to be sure the name you’ve selected isn’t already in use somewhere in the country. If someone can’t afford the entire trademark package, they can begin with a search only.

Could you provide three important tips on why it’s important to trademark your business?

  1. Since the pandemic online businesses have grown and social media platforms will not enforce your rights to remove infringing content without a federal trademark.
  2. Trademark ownership makes businesses more appealing to investors and lenders. That’s because the intellectual property asset is protected, and it signals to potential business partners that a business is thorough, strategic, and carries less risk.
  3. It makes no sense to invest in marketing a brand name you don’t own.

You can follow Kimra at Morris-Law, LLC on Facebook and @kimraesq on Instagram for more insiders and tips.