When should you register for a trademark? It depends.

Presenter Sam Foreman, a business attorney and Special Counsel with Wichita law firm Fleeson Gooing Coulson & Kitch, presented on trademark law and how business owners pursue registering for a trademark and the assessed risks involved.

Several factors must be considered when filing for a trademark and Foreman suggested that businesses ask themselves where they are going with their business and what’s their intent to use their brand. “Peel back the layers. What do you really want to do with this product or service and where?”

According to Foreman, it’s “a business call” whether or not to register one’s branded work because value and risk determines how many steps are involved and the cost associated with getting a registered trademark.

Attendee Brad Painchaud, Director of Business Development at Squid Ink, learned from Foreman’s presentation to err on the side of caution when considering trademark registration.

“It is better to do your research early about a trademark. ‘Is it going to cause confusion for the consumer’ is a great question all marketers and creatives should be asking themselves and their clients before deciding on a brand, logo or other design elements.”

If one does want to apply for trademark, the first step is to use a high level Google search and to look for online asset availability. Applying for a trademark and getting one registered can be time consuming so business owners should be prepared for 6-12 months wait.

“Our government has a desire to protect and keep consumers from being confused. The more famous the greater the trademark protection,” Foreman said.

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