By: Chase Howard
Investing in a healthcare related business involves significant time and money. Building a brand takes even more and is extremely important in today’s society. Having the ability to build a recognizable brand, scale, and potentially sell, is the goal of many healthcare business entrepreneurs. With the ever-booming impact of social media, online advertising, and online reviews, healthcare businesses seek to engage at a higher degree than ever before to attract new patients, retain current patients, and establish themselves as experts in their respective fields.
Building a brand is part of it, while protecting that brand is far more important. A well-recognized word or logo can be worth everything to your business. Obtaining ownership and protection over a name or mark is a fairly simply task with significant rewards. Trademarks are the names, slogans, tag lines, and/or logos that identify and represent your business, its services, and mission to the public, and are the foundation for the business’s overall branding and marketing. Trademarks can also be used to protect your business in a specific area or a specific area of expertise. If you do not protect your brand, a competitor could use it (or something similar, which could confuse the public and your patients and therefore potentially draw business away from your brand.
What are the benefits to protecting your trademark:
- Registration gives notice to the public that you are the owner of the trademark and that you have exclusive rights to use that trademark indefinitely (so long as it is in use and you “renew” it).
- Registration prevents others in your industry from using similarly confusing marks or names that might confuse your current or potential clients.
- Registration allows you to file suit against those who infringe upon your trademark (you cannot otherwise do so without a valid trademark registration).
- Registration helps you license your trademark, which you can lend to others for financial gain and increase your brand’s reach.
Steps to Healthcare Business Trademarking
- Have an experienced attorney conduct comprehensive search for your desired trademark and analyze the results of the search to determine whether you have a truly unique trademark.
- Identify the classifications of your goods or services and apply for the appropriate trademark.
- Until the trademark receives its official registration, you can use “TM” after the logo, slogan, or name to show that you believe that you own the rights to this mark. This lets others know that they might not be the first to use the mark.
- Once your trademark is registered, you can change that “TM” to an “R” in a circle, giving the world notice that you own that registered trademark and that you have the right to sue anyone who infringes upon your trademark rights.