Utilizing unique designs, logos, names and symbols helps set small businesses apart in a world where technology is often vying for customers' attention. Wisconsin business owners often trademark these unique aspects of their company, but that does not necessarily stop other people from infringing on those trademarks. Here are a few things some business owners might find important about trademarks and small business law.
As protected intellectual property, trademarks help businesses protect their individual brands. Trademarks not only protect businesses, but they also protect consumers from confusion or deception. As such, trademark infringement often involves businesses operating in similar industries. If a similar phrase or design is used by another company in a different industry, it might not be considered trademark infringement because consumers are unlikely to be confused.
Business owners do not have to do anything specific to establish a trademark other than to use the trademark in legitimate business and commercial settings. However, registering a trademark is still a good idea. The process is relatively straightforward, although there is an associated fee and specific filing guidelines. Leaving out any part of the application can result in a denial. Still, having a registered trademark can make it easier for businesses to take action against those who are infringing on protected intellectual property.
Businesses have a right to protect their intellectual property from being infringed upon or used without permission. Doing so can be difficult for small business owners in Wisconsin, though. Working with an experienced small business law attorney can be helpful for dealing with these types of difficult situations.