Do you have the perfect idea for tasty food on wheels? Food trucks are a popular way to let your menu shine, especially if you live in an urban area. If you have figured out your menu, purchased a truck, and want to get started, it’s time to think about protecting the intellectual property of your new business.
From the name of your business, to the recipes you create, how do you protect your hard work? What do you do if someone else tries to capitalize on your great idea? Learning more about intellectual property is a fantastic place to start while you plan your business.
What’s In a Name?
One of the first things that you will need to come up with as you launch your food truck is a name for your business. Most food truck owners will embrace punny names and clever mascots to make their truck stand out and attract customers. As you brainstorm names for your truck, you will want to do research to make sure that there isn’t already another business using the same name or something similar.
Once you have made sure that no other business has already trademarked your desired name, you will need to register your business’s name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As trademarks protect a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that is associated with your brand, you may also want to trademark any logos that you may use in marketing.
Protecting Your Social Media Content
Many small businesses utilize social media to attract new customers. Between your own website and websites like Twitter and Instagram, how do you protect your content? Fortunately, if you create content such as photographs or articles, you will automatically own the copyright to your work. That said, if you are concerned with protecting your work, you must register with the USPTO in order to give yourself the ability to claim reasonable damages (even if you are not economically injured) and to allow you to sue if you are in a situation where you must pursue litigation. It can be much harder to enforce your rights if you have not registered trademarks and copyrights to protect all of your creative efforts.
The Secret Recipe
Your menu is the key to a successful business. You may find yourself wanting to protect your recipes from contributors — and you can do that as they are trade secrets. Trade secrets are private information that can give your business an economic edge over your competitors. You can take measures like having employees sign a non-disclosure agreement so they can not share private information, and they know exactly what you consider private. Trade secrets can also protect information like email lists of your customers. There are unique challenges to protecting trade secrets if you are selling from a food truck. Contracts alone will not suffice. Contact the attorneys of Garcia-Zamor if you selling food from food trucks and wish to protect your recipes with trade-secrets.
Take Action Or Other Food Trucks and Restaurants Will Copy Your Great Ideas and Creativity
Good branding is critical in bringing customers to your food truck and in establishing your reputation, locally and nationally. If you don’t invest in protecting your attractive, truck name, food names, logos, and slogans, then the competition is rewarded for copying your business. They will have the benefit of your originality and creative works without investing any time and money. Trying to stop a competitor without establishing the appropriate intellectual property protection can be ten times more expensive and thus, prohibitive. Take charge and ownership of your great ideas and creativity – and protect it!! Unprotected creations are essentially donations to your competition.
A Necessary Expense For Your Food Truck: Why Every Food Truck and Restaurant Needs to Trademark its Brands
Are you unsure of the right steps to take and which protections to establish for your food truck or restaurant? Contact Garcia-Zamor today to receive individualized assistance as you pursue your dream business. We can use our experience and litigation knowledge to help you every step of the way, whether you are just planning your business, are actively applying for intellectual property protection, or are pursuing litigation to protect your brand. Let us help you move forward confidently!