Food Porn: The Importance of Trademark Protection for Restaurants

Savvy chefs and restaurateurs know that a restaurant name can be as important and relevant as the food they serve: It can convey an environment, a style or the type of service the clientele will enjoy and complement the dining experience.

Protecting the name of a restaurant is vital for owners, since others may seek to capitalize on the success of your brand.

Business owners, in general, need to avoid the mistake of thinking that incorporating a company in the state of operation brings trademark protection. These are separate filings to separate agencies and jurisdictions. 

The incorporation happens at the state level, while the trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has national jurisdiction. The incorporation only makes sure that no other business is using that name in the state, whether is a restaurant or not.

With just the state incorporation, you are not protecting the name in another state.

Do not underestimate this issue. A successful restaurant may grow to other sites across the country. Additionally, you do not want others to use your restaurant name in another state that may not be at the same quality standards, which can affect the reputation of your brand.

Business owners should hire a professional attorney to do a trademark search and research. A good trademark attorney will help you navigate the process and even suggest modifications to your name, so it is a successful filing trademark with the USPTO. Additionally, you must consider trademarking your restaurant logo, visual elements and the lettering that accompanies the name.

Along with the name of the restaurant, search the social media digital “real state” and claim a piece of the net via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. An expert Trademark attorney can also help you navigate the social media trademark aspects that may arise.

Do not forget that other aspects of the look and feel of your restaurant may be trademarked too, such as food packaging, some element of the physical presentation, etc. These visuals are especially important in fast food restaurants where even the signage can be trademarked.  A good Trademark attorney can assess the elements of your business that can be protected against the competition and the sequence of the filings with USPTO.

If you already have a restaurant and you have not trademarked your intellectual property, consider to do it as soon as possible to avoid problems down the road.

No matter if your restaurant is a fast food looking to franchise in the future or a single operation- dining destination, you should pay attention to all aspects of your business including the intellectual property protection you create along with your passion for bringing yummy food to your guests.

For further information about trademark in different industries and a comprehensive assessment of your intellectual property and business legal needs, contact Marcos E. Garciaacosta Esq. Schedule an appointment at (602) 317-0035 or send him an inbox message via twitter @IPLawMarcos.

 

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