The top 5 things dentists must know about trademarks
Protecting your brand identity and reputation is key.
Business incorporation has nothing to do with trademark registration.
Many dentists make the mistake of thinking that by incorporating their dental practice, they’re automatically provided with some sort of trademark protection for their practice name—but that isn’t the case. While it is true that your state will deny your incorporation request for “Mellis Dental Associates, Inc.” if another business in your state is already incorporated using that exact name, this doesn’t mean that you’ve been granted exclusive rights to use the name within the dental industry—it just means is that no two businesses in one state can incorporate using the exact same name. Other businesses in your state can incorporate with extremely similar names (e.g. “Mellis Dentistry Associates, Inc.) and businesses across the state line or across the country can incorporate using the exact same name as your dentistry practice.
The processes of incorporating your dental practice and securing a trademark for your dental practice name are completely separate. To gain the greatest level of protection for your practice, you should strongly consider filing for federal trademark protection of your practice’s name.