Suttons Bay – April 2008
If you are like most of our businesses, you probably have a company website. You may also have a specially-designed company logo that you use on your website and elsewhere to “brand” your business in the marketplace. What you may not have done, however, is take the necessary steps to protect your all-important logo from infringement by competitors.
If your business is set up as either a Michigan corporation or limited liability company, your company name itself is protected from infringement within the state of Michigan. Your logo, however, is not protected unless you have separately registered it with the state. (Your logo, incidentally, is called either a “trademark” or “service mark,” depending on whether you sell goods or services.) Further, your logo is not protected from infringement outside the state of Michigan unless you have registered it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This federal registration gives you country-wide protection for your logo and, in many cases, for your company name itself. (If your company name is distinctive enough, it can function as a trademark or service mark.)
Federal and state registration of your trademark or service mark prevents another business from using the same or a confusingly similar mark. As you can imagine, this is a protection that can be key to the preservation and growth of your business! If you would like to find out more about the process and cost of registering your mark, please give us a call.