Trademarks & The Farmer's Market

This past weekend we went to our local farmer’s market for the first time this year. It was a gorgeous Saturday morning, the type of Spring temp that is not too hot and not too cool…just perfect!  

With a toddler on C’s shoulders and a baby in a carrier on my chest, off we went (along with many other people!)  Now, this isn’t any normal farmer’s market - it’s BIG. And not only is it full of the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season, it is full of local businesses promoting their food or products.

✓ homemade tamales

✓ fruit popsicles (Oliver picked the strawberry rhubarb)

✓ cookies, bread, and muffins galore

✓ artwork

✓ plants

✓ dog treats

✓ candles & soap

✓ whiskey

Ah..whiskey! Yes our farmer’s market has a few cocktail stands for those that like a Saturday morning beve 🥂  but this particular one was selling bottles of whiskey made at a local St. Louis distillery, Switchgrass Spirits. The reason we stopped at this particular stand was not to try the whiskey (although C did have a taste - he highly recommends the bourbon) - but because the purveyors were wearing the shirts as pictured below.

Do you notice anything?  Of course you do, because as a follower of Destination Legal, no doubt you are a savvy observer of trademarks in the world.  What a cool shirt right?!

TRD - MRK.  Trademark. 

So many people think of a registered trademark as just a cost in their business for owning intellectual property and keeping other people from using their branding.  But that’s not always the right way to look at it (although IT IS the way to own your brand and keep other people from using it). 

In fact, it’s the only way to actually ensure that nobody else in your industry (in this case, alcoholic beverages) can use a similar name. This will be the only Switchgrass Spirits around. 

Trademarks are also a source of pride. A source of confidence. You could tell just chatting with this guy how proud he was to be selling this whiskey and how proud he was of this shirt. 

This is MY business. This is MY brand.  This is MY name.  

Many coaches and online business owners do not think about registering a trademark until it is too late.  Meaning, somebody else already owns it - ugh.  And they usually don’t figure that out until one of two things happens: 

  1. They decide it’s time to trademark and realize the name or something similar is already taken 

Or 

  1. They receive a Cease & Desist in their inbox that states they have exactly 10 days to rebrand their entire business. 

Neither of these scenarios is a good outcome for your business.

In the online space, trademarks are getting snapped up like this season’s fresh strawberries. I have conversations every week with business owners that are so in love with their program or business name and yet. They haven’t taken the necessary step to protect it and ensure they don’t end up in either boat above.

If you don’t want to miss the boat, learn more about how I can help you register a trademark HERE


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