Combining Technical Knowledge And Legal Action Since 2002

  1. Home
  2.  — 
  3. Trademarks
  4.  — How long should I wait to file for trademark protections?

How long should I wait to file for trademark protections?

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2021 | Trademarks |

Trademark protections are an important step towards protecting a mark, symbol or saying that distinguish your brand. A failure to promptly get these protections can leave your brand vulnerable to competition.

A popular example of trademarks is Emeril Lagasse’s company’s trademark of the phrase “Bam!” for cooking related usage. Anyone who tries to use this phrase on a spatula, apron or other cooking related product could find themselves getting a cease-and-desist letter from the cooking superstar — or more likely one of his representatives.

Does the timing matter?

The timing is important. Let’s go back to the “Bam!” example noted above. If Mr. Lagasse’s company had waited too long to file for trademark protections of the phrase, they could have lost their chance. Another business or individual could have made the filing and potentially gotten the trademark protections before Emeril even had a chance.

Business owners may hesitate to file for trademark protections too soon due to concerns about the cost associated with the filing. It can help to look at the filing fee and related costs as an investment for the future of your brand. If granted, the trademark protections can also lead to a revenue stream from royalty payments if others are interested in use of the trademark.

How far do trademark protections reach?

It is important to note that trademark protections do not take a saying, phrase or symbol out if public domain. Instead, they just provide the owner with protection in a certain situation. This is why it is important to apply for the protections wisely. The language we use in the application generally guides how far our protections will extend.

Back to the original example, we can still say “Bam!” in our daily conversations without having to pay royalties to Emeril Lagasse. But if we wanted to put that saying on a piece of clothing with a picture of a hot pepper and sell those T-shirts at a cooking convention? We could open ourselves up for a possible lawsuit.