Brand News: Why is a Secretary of State Filing Not Enough?

In my prior post I mentioned that your brand could have troubles if you thought organizing your company with the Secretary of State gave you permission to use your company name as a brand. This post unpacks one of the reasons for this.

Brand Protection primarily concerns whether or not brands used by different companies would cause confusion among consumers. This is a detailed analysis and Secretaries of State cannot perform this review for every company in their state.

Many companies operate across state lines. When you organize a business with a Secretary of State, it is only checking the records of that one state. It is not looking for companies which may have some market presence in that state, but do not have enough connection to that state to require it to file as a foreign entity.

As an example, if Smith’s Gizmos sold several hundred units in my state, I could still organize a company in my state called Smith’s Gizmos LLC, but the other company could prevent me from using “Smith’s Gizmos” as a brand name.

Brands can be tricky. Some professionals can make them powerful to grow your business. I protect them to make sure you  are the only one who benefits from your hard work.