"Specimen" I submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office
This post is for my fellow small business owners.
If you’re like me, you started very small. You made up a company name. You designed / fabricated / assembled something really cool. You sold some of your widgets.
Now you’re selling more, and watching your company grow. How do you protect your name?
This past spring I came to the realization that, as my business grew, my need to protect my name and image increased. I’d built up enough of a following to have steady sales; if someone came along and hijacked my company name I’d be devastated. So, I decided to file for trademark.
I went through Legal Zoom. It was an easy application process; an online form or two is all it took, in addition to a “specimen” (product photo) depicting the trademark in use.
Now, I started out as Little Batch Botanicals. My registered business name is Little Batch Botanicals, LLC. However, the attorney assigned to me from Legal Zoom found a problem while searching the US trademark database… a company with a similar name.
I was told that, chances were, the trademark would go through. However, the other company could challenge it.
So, after much consideration, I decided to go with Little Batch Apothecary as a brand name. Many people had told me my products and packaging have an apothecary-style look, and I liked the old-time feel bought about by the word “apothecary.” I thought it evoked an image of herbal remedies and old school laboratories, both being right up my alley.
Little Batch Botanicals, LLC will remain the company name, and the brand will be Little Batch Apothecary ™.
Legal Zoom deemed the mark good to go, and my application for trademark was submitted to the US trademark office on March 31st, 2011.
This afternoon I received an email from the Maryland trademark lawyer assigned to my application. After modifying the application to disclaim exclusive use of the word “apothecary,” she deemed the mark to be acceptable.
The next step is to continue to monitor the progress of my application online via the US Patent and Trademark Office, and wait for the official registration to come through.
The process is not quite over, but I cleared a major hurdle today, so that feels really good. 🙂
What are you going to do next to take your business to the next level?