For Subscribers

The Name Game

Want to expand your trademark globally? Watch your step—or you'll be putting your name on the line.

By Jane Easter Bahls • Apr 1, 2004

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When you choose a name for a little storefront business, all you have to worry about is whether the name will resonate with customers and whether any similar business nearby uses the same name. But expanding across the nation or around the world requires an extensive trademark search to make sure no other company has priority rights to your trade name. Under the Madrid Protocol, which became effective in the United States on November 2, 2003, that process became more complicated.

Karen Artz Ash, partner and chair of the intellectual property department at Katten Muchin Zavis Rosenman, explains that, until last November, it wasn't possible to make a filing in the United States that would protect your trademark in other countries. You'd have to do a trademark search in each country, combing through its records to see whether any other company had the rights to your name, and then apply for trademark protection.

Continue reading this article — and all of our other premium content with Entrepreneur+

For just $5, you can get unlimited access to all Entrepreneur’s premium content. You’ll find:

  • Digestible insight on how to be a better entrepreneur and leader
  • Lessons for starting and growing a business from our expert network of CEOs and founders
  • Meaningful content to help you make sharper decisions
  • Business and life hacks to help you stay ahead of the curve

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Business News

Frontier Airlines Just Announced Its All-You-Can-Fly Summer Pass for $399. What's the Catch?

As travel begins to pick up, the airline hopes unlimited travel will jumpstart its business.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Leadership

Here's Why You Should Steal Someone Else's Leadership Style

To become the best leader you can be, you must start by being a version of the leaders you most admire.

Starting a Business

Free Event | February 9: Solopreneur Office Hours with Terry Rice

Running a one person business is challenging, but we're here to help you. Tune in as our expert, Terry Rice, answers your most pressing questions.

Business News

Mark Cuban's Grocery Store Hack Will Help You Score Cheaper Produce

The billionaire talked about his early days in Dallas when he was strapped for cash.