The top 5 things dentists must know about trademarks
Protecting your brand identity and reputation is key.
Claim your social media handles.
Are you already sharing #smiles on Instagram and tweeting oral health tips on Twitter? Or is social media not a big part of your practice’s marketing plan? No matter which way you answer, it’s imperative that your dental practice “own” the social media handles that are registered with your trademark. If you don’t, you risk confusing current or potential patients and jeopardizing your reputation and bottom line in the process.
If you aren’t already active on social media, head over to the top sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc. and create a social media handle for each site using your trademark. But what if another dentist is using your trademark name as his or her social media handle? Assuming you obtained federal trademark protection for your name, the social media site will likely deem you the “rightful” owner of the handle and will provide you with access to it with you having to do little more than fill out an online form that includes your federal trademark number. However, before taking any kind of legal action, you should get in touch with your trademark attorney to ensure you aren’t inadvertently opening yourself up to liability.
Obtaining a trademark for your dental practice name can have a huge impact on your long-term branding strategy. First, it is important to understand that incorporating your practice isn’t the same as registering for a trademark. Then, consider hiring a professional trademark attorney to assist you with the trademark clearance and registration process. Finally, keep an eye out for other practices that may be infringing on your trademark name, and stake your claim on social media sites. By following these tips, you’ll be ahead of the pack and ready to take advantage of all the benefits that trademark protection offers.
Founder of the Gerben Law Firm, PLLC, Josh Gerben is U.S. trademark attorney who has represented clients in more than 5,000 trademark filings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Featured in a variety of national news outlets including FOX News, NPR and The Wall Street Journal, Josh Gerben was named one of 2016’s Top 10 trademark filers in the US by World Trademark Review.