Growing up in Vermont, we shopped at locally owned stores for most of our needs. Those stores succeeded without looking beyond the borders of our town. Vermont businesses now succeed by having a regional presence and through strong sales over the internet. However, many locally owned businesses learn too late that they should have registered their tradenames federally, and are faced with lawsuits from out-of-state trademark holders or with the prospect of having to change a name that they have spent years to establish.
Federal trademark registration is often one of the first steps a small business should take. However, the confusion and expense often makes it one of the last steps local businesses take. An experienced attorney can help you to choose when to take this necessary step to help you to protect your good will. I have advised clients on choosing appropriate and registrable marks, registered those marks on their behalf, and defended those marks when necessary. Trademark registration may seem expensive. But, it pales in comparison to having to rebuild your business after being forced to change your name.