How to start a small business Food business series : Trademark your FOOD

Posted by Damian Robert on

So why in the world would you ever really need a trademark for a food product and do you really need to secure a trademark when you first start? The answer to that is yes,

I see is Damien from marketing food online and I've got another great video. I'm going to talk to you a little bit about trademarks and why they are important. Plus the fact that I firmly believe that if you start a food business, even from home, you need to secure a trademark as soon as possible. The duration of time it takes for you to actually secure one can be several months to even over a year and longer. It is a process to get it secured, but the reason why is that you are in the business to create a brand and if you want to create a brand with your food products, you need to have some legal protection about the type of trademark and the look of your logo and your name. Now, what exactly is a trademark? So I'm going to break it down for you.

By the way, really quick disclaimer, I am not a trademark lawyer. I am not a patent attorney or anything in between, but I have dealt with patents. I do hold several us patents and I also have several trademarks. So I have experienced the side of it as far as trying to get one made, but I definitely don't do them myself. So in this video, I'm gonna explain to you what it is. Okay. And why I think it is actually fairly important to get the ball rolling as soon as you can because of the fact that it takes a while to secure one. And in some cases, it will return a search from the USPTO office that you cannot be issued the trademark because it infringes on a another one. So a trademark is a distinct logo or phrase that could have a specific style text or even accompanied logo with the text that creates a trademark or something that is trademarkable that you could create a trademark for.

Okay. So why would you need to do that when you first started food business? If you have gotten to the point where you have created a logo, you have a name for a product or even a name for your business and you want that to be protected because it's unique. You want to make sure you get the legal protection and that is known as a trademark. Now, if you apply for this, I would highly recommend you have a lawyer with you, a lawyer help you. Um, there are places that you can go to like legal zoom and some other very reputable online, uh, law firms and those types of agencies that have attorneys who have done this for years. Ask them to help you out with it because you want to make sure that it is distinct, specific, uh, when it comes to gray, creating a trademark or even creating something that could be trademarked.

You want to make sure that you have all of your t's crossed and your I's dotted. And the reason why is that if you apply for a trademark and it is too similar to something that is existing, you will get nothing back. They will not allow you to get a trademark and you won't get protection for that. So the idea of let's take for instance Oreo cookies have a distinct packaging, a distinct blue package, and Oreo logo is very distinct because everyone can see it in a heartbeat and know that it's an Oreo cookie. So if you created something that was similar because you liked chocolate cookies sandwiched with the sugary center and you, you submitted something like that, there's a very good likelihood that would come back and you would not get it trademarked, it would not be approved. Uh, the reason being is that it is too similar.

So what you wanna do is she wants to try to seek out the most unique look yet you can for your product, okay. Or even your company name. So if he created something like Susie's chocolate chip cookie company, um, there is very minimal amount of distinction. It's kind of a bland, boring and universal phrase, chocolate chip cookie. But if you created something like Susie's world-renowned chocolates or something to that effect and it's separated yourself from a traditional term such as chocolate chip cookie, you would have a better chance of getting that trademarked. Now that is a very basic idea. I'm not saying that you can actually get that trademarked, but that's the kind of idea that you need to think about when you're creating something that needs to be trademarked. The more unique the look of the logo and even actually the font if you believe it or not, the text itself, the lettering is in a certain font.

It separates your product from somebody who is similar. Obviously, there are quite a few other companies that produce cookies that are similar to Oreos, private label cookies. Walmart has the private label cookie that looks exactly like an Oreo, but it's actual trademark itself and the packaging is slightly different. Okay, so the more unique it is, the better off the chance of you getting it approved. Now, why Damien? Would you want to do it so early? If I had just started from my home, why would I apply for? Well, as most government agencies are renowned for everything takes forever and a day to get done. Okay? So trademark applications don't take a couple of weeks. They'll take eight to nine months on a minimum or even longer. Uh, some websites say they can expedite it, but that is not exactly the truth. That doesn't expedite the process once it's actually in the hands of the agency to have it trademark.

And of course, that's the USPTO, United States Patent and trademark office. So what you want to do is when you're starting out fresh from, from your home, or maybe just really right off the bat, create your logo, get your texts, get everything, and then seek out an attorney who can assist you with the application process. That way they'll make sure that you'll have a better chance of getting it approved because you speaking with them. Does it cost more money? Yes, it does. But keep in mind, it's an investment. This is part of your business. And if you're looking to make those your eventual goal and you want to have a brand and you're really truly interested in and passionate about creating a brand for your products, you're going to want to invest in it. But once it's said and done, you're done. Okay. So once he gets actually approved and you are good to go, you have the legal rights to use it.

Now, the only drawback to that is, is of course like everything that is popular, people like to copy it and they'd like to replicate it. So I'm not saying doing that right off the bat, but down the road, you will have to consider having a company monitor, uh, the actual trademark itself. And that's something that some of the big companies do all the time. Of course, because they have the budget, will you have to worry, worry about that right off the bat, probably not. But a few years down the road when you're making millions of dollars, it's a good chance that somebody will actually copy it. So would that be, and said, I'll wrap this up in a nutshell. And by the way, the costs can vary as well. If you're having something like an attorney do it. I could not in a million years tell you how much that attorney would cost you.

It would probably be a few hundred dollars at least to a couple of thousand dollars to have them apply for it. And that's not the application fee. So look at least on a high end, eight to $900 to probably about 2,500 or so to have a trademark. But again, this is a permanent thing and once it's done, it's yours and you have all the legal protections in the world to help you protect that product. So if that was helpful in giving you a brief description as to why you need to get into a trademark, please do give a big thumbs up if you have any questions about what I said. As always, let me know down below, and I will see you guys on the next video.