This is a guest post from Ken Myers.
Legalities in blogging are a bit of a murky topic, and unless you’re well-versed in the legal ins and outs of things posted on the Internet, it’s rather easy to get lost in legal mumbo-jumbo and inadvertently end up violating a law here and there. When you’re the one who made an accidental violation it can seem like it really isn’t that big of an issue, something that was an honest mistake, but if someone steals something from your site then that accidental violation can be a point of contention.
This is especially true when it comes to your blog’s name. If someone were to start operating under your name, what do you do? Do you have any recourse? Are there things you could have done to protect your site against that happening? This is where trademarking your blog’s name can be useful, especially if your blog is your business. Here are five benefits to trademarking your blog’s name:
- You gain exclusive rights to the trademark. This means that no one else can operate under your trademarked name that is doing anything that could be considered confusingly similar to what you do. So if you trademarked your name for a blog about health and fitness, no one else could use that name, or one that is similar to it, for a blog that is also about health and fitness.
- You will have legal recourse if someone starts to operate under your name. Having a registered trademark gives you some legal recourse. So if you were to find someone that was damaging your name by operating under the same name as you for the same or similar goods or services, you can legally oppose those actions.
- Your trademark will be added to the list of pending and registered trademarks at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. This means that anyone who is interested in registering a trademark similar to yours will immediately see that you have that mark already registered. This can act as a good deterrent for someone trying to obtain a similar registration, and the U.S. Trademark Office will require that person to prove why their mark is different enough from yours that it should be allowed a registration. If they are unable to prove that then they won’t be able to obtain their trademark.
- You will be able to use the ® symbol next to your blog’s name. By adding the registration symbol next to your blog name you are telling everyone that your blog has a trademark. This can act as a good warning for anyone who is thinking about using your name. However, it’s very important to only use that symbol once you have actually received your trademark registration, otherwise you’re committing fraud.
- It gives you brand recognition. Having a trademark on your name helps to build brand recognition. It shows people that you are serious about your work, and that your blog is a business, and gives you a little more leverage for building your blog as a both a brand and a business.
Trademarking your blog name can become exceptionally helpful as you begin to grow your blog and expand it past an online journal and build it more into a business. And while this is legal information, don’t mistake it for legal advice. If you do consider trademarking your blog name you should always talk to an attorney to ensure that you actually have a basis for registering your mark.
Ken Myers is an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many Organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance. He is a regular contributor of “www.gonannies.com/”. You can get in touch with him at email@example.com.