By UpCounsel Intellectual Property Attorney James Smedley

How Can I Secure My Brand?

No matter the industry, branding is incredibly important for the success of your business. That’s because most markets are saturated with many businesses offering the same product or service. Branding is the only way to distinguish yourself from the crowd and let customers know why they should work with you, rather than one of your competitors. Are you the cheapest? The most convenient? The most environmentally sustainable?

Whatever your defining characteristic is, make sure that you secure your rights in your branding. This is essential to prevent other businesses from copying it and to ensure your own ability to obtain those rights.

What industry-specific considerations should I be aware of?

As long as your legal counsel has experience in your industry, this is usually an easily answered question.

Should I do X before proceeding?

Typically, this is not only a legal question but a business question as well. If completely eliminating all legal risk is more costly than simply taking the risk, take the risk. When making this decision, both legal and business development teams should be heavily involved.

That being said, there are some rights that you cannot claim retroactively after you go live. Some examples include filing patents and obtaining certain business licenses or registrations.

What are the risks of introducing my product or service to the market?

As soon as you bring your product or service to the market, you put yourself at risk for infringement, government regulation and insurance concerns. Therefore, it’s very important that you have thought all of these issues through with your legal counsel and have prepared for them before you proceed. This is the only way to protect yourself and your rights.

How can a small business owner can protect personal wealth and assets from business risks?

If the business is formed as a legal entity that ensures the protection of personal assets, such as an LLC, business risks will not affect personal wealth.

One caveat: This entity must be managed appropriately so that it does not become an extension of the business owner’s personal wallet.

What can quality legal services do for my business?

Engaging an experienced and knowledgeable attorney will help you protect your brand and your business by guaranteeing compliance with the laws that govern your industry. An attorney will also make sure that you don’t fall victim to common mistakes that have undone many business in the past. This will help you avoid expensive problems in the future.

How can small businesses maximize the value of their legal team’s services?

Whenever you have a question, no matter how small, don’t be afraid to engage legal services. It’s better to have your question answered than to make a mistake that snowballs into a larger problem.

Getting quick answers doesn’t have to be expensive. With UpCounsel Advice, you can speak with an attorney for 15 minutes for just $39. It’s the perfect way to get fast, quality advice without breaking the bank.

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About the author

James Smedley

James Smedley

James is the managing member of the law firm of James M Smedley LLC (The Sigma Law Group), an intellectual property law boutique consisting of 9 attorneys focused on intellectual property prosecution and corporate transactional matters.

Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Our focus is on the protection of your Intellectual Property Rights (Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks and Trade Secrets) and the handling of your technology, business and corporate law concerns.

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