Imagine this: You’ve put your heart and soul into your brand, only to find out that someone else has stolen your business name or copied your content. It can be incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking.
And it’s not just the blatant copying that can throw a wrench in your plans.
Recently, my friend had a similar experience where her competitor used her brand name as a hashtag on social media for SEO purposes. My friend was upset, but she didn’t have a trademark over her brand name. Without proper legal protection, anyone can use your brand name, even as a hashtag.
Unfortunately, this is a common issue in the business world. But the good news is that you can take steps to legally protect your marks and content.
To prevent this from happening to you, here are five steps you can do to protect your business from Copycats:
1. Do a knockout search: Before choosing your business name, logo, or marks, make sure to do a proper knockout search to ensure no one else is using the same or similar marks.
2. Control how your assets are shared: Develop a sharing policy that tells others how you want your content shared, including asking for a link back or requiring citation as the author.
3. Have evidence of your efforts: Keep track of your efforts to protect your marks and content, which can strengthen your ownership over your business assets and help if someone tries to copy or steal them. This includes putting copyright notices in all your work, especially on your website.
4. Register your trademarks and copyrights: By registering your trademarks and copyrights, you can prevent others from using your marks or copying your content without your permission.
5. Have a strategy for enforcement: If someone tries to copy or steal your marks or content, have a plan for handling it, which could include sending a cease and desist letter or taking legal action.
Remember, it’s never too early to start protecting your marks and content. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your business is legally protected and that no one else can profit from your hard work and creativity.
Do you know how to write a copyright notice? Download Legally Fluent® Primer here, and let me guide you.
Stay safe and stay protected.