Keep Your Small Business Close and Your Trademarks Closer: A Cautionary Tale

Jun 9, 2021

Two of the most precious resources for any small business owner are time and money. When the subject of intellectual property comes up, many small business owners turn and run. However, avoiding the topic – or assuming it’s an issue that only large companies deal with – could be the biggest mistake a small business owner makes.

Don’t forget: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not monitor or enforce your trademark rights for you. You are responsible for watching for competitive products or services using your mark or a similar one.

New York City-based Kind Snacks was named the best new product at the Natural Products Expo East in October 2008. But the following year, Kind Snacks’ CEO Daniel Lubetzky started hearing that one of his competitors had copied the brand’s packaging. Fortunately, Daniel had secured crucial intellectual property components such as trademarks, trade dress, and web addresses after founding his company.1 With the legal documentation needed to back up his rights, Daniel could send the offending company a cease-and-desist letter. The imposter brand backed down and stopped copying his packaging.

Minnesota-based Midwest Rubber Service and Supply didn’t fare as well. The company makes squeegees for floor scrubbing machines with Linatex, a type of red rubber that is so durable its Malaysian manufacturer had it trademarked.2 Unfortunately, the two companies didn’t do anything else to protect the rubber’s reputation, so counterfeiters created knockoffs of Midwest’s squeegees using cheap rubber dyed red. This oversight cut Midwest Rubber Service and Supply’s global business prospects in half. What a disaster!

Don’t let your precious intellectual property go unprotected. The attorneys of Garcia-Zamor are here to fight for your small business by prevent embarrassing mistakes and saving you money. TRADEGUARD® is our unique answer to trademark infringement and theft.

TRADEGUARD® Services are available in three tiers:

    • Month-to-Month Plan
    • $500 per month
    • Six-Month Plan
    • $2,700 for six months
  • TRADEGUARD® Premium
    • 12-Month Plan
    • $4,200 for one year

While it may be tempting to go without TRADEGUARD® and only pay for legal services when you need them, you may find yourself paying much more in the long run. TRADEGUARD® subscriptions come with a free, thirty-minute phone call with your attorney so you can discuss options and receive advice on how to proceed in case of trademark infringement. Other law offices will charge you expensive consultation fees just to discuss your situation!

With TRADEGUARD® PLUS, you receive everything that comes with the basic package, plus a free filing of a trademark opposition or cancellation petition, which initiates legal inquiries with the USPTO. Copycats often settle a dispute before any USPTO hearing.

If you anticipate more legal infringements due to the competitive nature of your industry, TRADEGUARD® PREMIUM is the option for you. This yearly subscription comes with three free cease-and-desist letters and/or trademark opposition or cancellation petitions. This provides massive savings and gives you a fantastic sense of security. If copycats persist, you can rest assured that the attorneys of Garcia-Zamor will proceed with all legal enforcement necessary. TRADEGUARD® PREMIUM guarantees a 25% discount on future legal fees.

Let us help protect your small business! Contact the attorneys of Garcia-Zamor at 410-531-9853 or to learn more.

1 Dahl, D. (2009, August 5). A Small-Business Guide to Intellectual Property. The New York Times.
2 DePass, D. (2012, November 4). Intellectual property theft hurts small businesses. Star Tribune.