I recently announce the formation of Ben Franklin`s Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc. to help more entrepreneurs and business owners become part of CEO Peer Support Groups.
Help is available to start your own group for free, to start or become part of a volunteer led group, or if you live here in metro-Denver to become part of a group I personally lead. For more see www.JohnWren.com and download the Franklin Circle application. If you have any questions, email me at JohnSWren@aol.com.
I`m a big believer in the direct approach. That`s why I was the founding president of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association.
Why not invest your money in target marketing the advertisers you want to reach, buy or create a list of decision makers, call them up, send them letters and follow up emails.
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?
At what point is it not possible to protect a business name?
If I`ve already started operating and using a name, can I go back and protect it later?
And what if I`ve started using a business name, but I don`t tell people I`ve protected it legally?
Finally, what if I`ve protected it legally, disclosed the fact that it is protected, but when I see others using the name I allow their use to continue?