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Business Marketing Law

business marketing law

Marketing your business requires more than simply hanging your shingle. You have to gain insight into your target market, come up with a compelling company name, and protect your brand, among other considerations. Below are some of the likely stopping points you will have to make along the way to marketing a business, some decisions you will have to make, and some things you may need to consider.

Thinking up a name for your company, and its product, can be more difficult than it seems. A state-wide, nation-wide, and if appropriate international search for trade names and trademarks or service marks can often relieve a headache, and potential litigation, in the future. If your proposed name or mark looks “solid,” try to reserve it with the state as soon as possible, if allowed under that state’s laws.

Most states require that any business performing transactions within its boundaries be registered with the Secretary of State. This registration generally requires submission of the official corporate name of the business, its address, the names of its officers, and the name of its agent. File the registration certificate as soon as possible after reserving your trade name.

If your business will use its trade name also as a trademark or service mark, you should consider filing that trademark and/or service mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). It may also be possible to register the mark on a state level. File an intent to use (ITU) application for registration if you wish to protect your corporate name for the services and goods you intend to use that name in connection with. Your ITU application must contain a verified statement that you have a bona fide and good-faith intention to use the mark on goods and/or services listed in commerce.

Later, you must file an Amendment to Alleged Use (AAU) or a Statement of Use (SOU) in order for the registration of the mark to be granted. The AAU or SOU must be accompanied by example products or services which verify that the mark has actually been used in interstate or foreign commerce (a company may obtain extensions up to 36 months total in which to file an SOU if good cause is shown). Rights to a trademark/service mark arise from prior usage. So, get your product out there circulating.

Remember, the names of products, the actual designs on packages, logos, or phrases used in advertising may be protected under trademark laws.
Get copyrights for your advertisements and packaging. Remember, copyright laws protect only the expression of an idea, they do not protect the idea itself. So, while they can’t prevent someone down the line from using the same general type of packaging you do, they can prevent them from using YOUR packaging. Register your advertisement or packaging with the Copyright Office. You can’t claim a valid copyright unless the Copyright Office knows about it! In other words, registration is a must to protect your interests.
Trade dress protects the shape, design, and colors of packaging for products. In order to be protected: (1) consumers must recognize the trade dress shape as identifying and distinguishing the source of the product or advertisement; (2) the trade dress must not be dictated by functional considerations; and (3) the use of the trade dress by another must confuse consumers about the source of the goods or services or the connection of the original advertiser to the copycat advertiser. Register your trade dress with the trademark office.

Prior to running an advertisement or marketing campaign, prepare your fortresses. Research whether similar products have ever run up against difficulty for false or deceptive advertising. Perform the necessary testing and research so that when you claim that you have “The Best Deal in Town,” you know that you really do. Be ready and able to substantiate your product.

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When you need legal help with business marketing law, please call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.