How can I efficiently protect my homemade products?

Discussion in 'General Business' started by Larry Bills, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Larry Bills

    Larry Bills New Member

    Hi cassiopia,

    While I am not a lawyer, I can offer some basic information on Intellectual Property legal issues that might help. I would need more details on the specifics of the types of cleaning products you are selling, but they probably aren't unique enough to apply for a patent. Patents are typically granted to inventors of new and unique inventions or processes, and provide the inventors with the exclusive right to make money off of said inventions. You can find a helpful FAQ on patents on the US Patent and Trademark Office website.

    I think in your case obtaining a Trademark for your products is likely the more appropriate course of action. Trademarks are essentially brand names. They constitute names, logos, words, etc. The purpose of a trademark is to identify it as coming from a specific manufacturer or merchant and distinguishing it from other sources with similar offerings. You are not required to register trademarks with the US Patent and Trademark Office, but it is highly recommended. (You may simply use the “™” symbol in commerce and it will apply, however the “®” symbol may only be used with federally registered trademarks.) If your trademark is registered, then you have greater authority to sue third parties for trademark infringement if someone uses your IP without your consent. And, unlike a patent, a trademark can last indefinitely as long as you continue filing post registration documents.

    If you can afford it, I would always recommend consulting with a lawyer when it comes to issues such as these, but if that's not feasible for you, the online legal service Legal Zoom offers Trademark registration services.

    Thank you for your question. Please let us know if you need any more help.

  2. paralegal1

    paralegal1 New Member

    Hello Cassiopia,

    I ran your question by Brian Hall, an attorney and partner here at Traverse Legal PLC. He provided this response to your question:

    There are several ways you can protect your product and your business, all of which offer different protections and corresponding value.

    Your cleaning composition and/or product package may be entitled to patent protection, but it will be relatively costly to do so (north of $10,000 most likely).

    The name of your product, or brand, may be entitled to trademark protection, which can be done for a fraction of the cost of a patent.

    Be careful when negotiating a contract with the bigger businesses, and make sure you retain your intellectual property and other rights, unless the price is right. An intellectual property attorney can help you identify what kind of protection you can achieve and how it can increase the value of your business.

    I hope this was helpful. You can find additional helpful information on our website:


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