Non-profit Trademark Considerations
A non-profit or charitable organization is like any other company when it comes to trademarks. This is because when you pick a name for your organization you want to ensure your goodwill and reputation as a charitable organization is protected. You have worked hard to promote your organization and chances are it would probably be devastating if you were suddenly forced to change your name.
One of the most important reasons for a charitable organization to trademark their name is because you would not want someone else profiting off of your good name.
Peace of Mind
Trademark protection provides the following benefits to nonprofit organizations:
- The exclusive right to use your name nationwide.
- Prevention of other charities from using a confusingly similar name.
- For example, PAWED IN FULL for a pet nonprofit would be protected from other similar uses such as PAWED IN, or PAW IN FULL.
- You don’t have to worry about receiving a cease & desist letter telling you to change your name.
Save Time and Money
As mentioned in the last bullet point, another very important, and often overlooked benefit to trademarking the name of your charitable organization is it would help to prevent being sued for trademark infringement. Regardless of your intentions in choosing a name for your organization, if you happen to pick an unavailable name that has already been trademarked you could be held liable for infringement. It is also irrelevant how big of a charity you run. For example, a few years ago it was uncovered that the Susan G. Komen charity was engaging in ruthless tactics against several Mom and Pop charities who used “for the cure” in their names, which they claimed constituted trademark infringement.
As a charitable organization, it is important that the funds you raise are used for your organization’s purpose. It would be upsetting if those funds instead had to be used to hire attorneys to help defend you in an infringement action. This is particularly the case where attorney’s fees in these types of matters can easily exceed $200,000.
Trademark Your NPO As Soon As Possible
Trademarking the name of your organization early on is important regardless of the type or size of an organization. The main reason for this is, it would be devastating to be faced with a name change 2-3 years down the line. While there are expenses associated with trademarking your organization’s name, in the long run a little bit of money spent now can potentially save you a lot of time and money in the future. Remember, the most important asset of your charitable organization is likely to be your name. Without a trademark it is difficult to protect your identity and brand against others.
How We Can Help
At the Law Firm of Sausser & Spurr, LLC, we make it easy and affordable to trademark the name of your non-profit. To trademark your name, please click the order button below. If you have more questions, please contact us. You can also give us a call at (843) 654-0078.