In order to maintain a strong trademark, you need to monitor for infringment and enforce it against those that are infringers. If someone is using the name in an un-related industry, that is likely not an infringement.
Yes, I understand this isn`t legal advice.
Isn`t this monitoring and enforcement impractical for most startups? I understand Coke has a team of people who go into Pepsi vendors asking for a "coke", and if they are given a Pepsi instead they take action. This is necessary to keep Coke from becoming a generic name.
Can a small business afford to do this? If not, should a startup spend any of the precious few dollars available for startup to protect the name?
Thanks so much for the great information and website references. My instinct told me early on that this was/is an important step in the startup process. Although initially I want "small", I would hate to have to say no to growth simply because I didn`t cover this crucial step. Although I am guilty of over thinking tasks and procrastinating, I certainly don`t want to back track. Thanks again, Joan