6 Reasons Why Your Photography Business Name Should Be Trademarked

Consider filing for a Federal Trademark Registration if your photography business includes your name or another word(s), phrase(s), design(s), and/or logo(s) to signify that you are the source of the images. This is your “brand,” similar to the name of a garment designer, for example. Here are six (of many) reasons why you should protect your brand with a federal trademark registration if you give or intend to provide photography services, license, or even sell your prints, especially in more than one state:

  1. You can use the federal trademark registration symbol, ®, with your brand to dissuade others from using your trademark or one that is too similar to it.
  2. You will have a separate right to sue in federal court over your brand, as well as a legal presumption that you own the brand and have the right to use it, effectively avoiding the need for copious quantities of proof and lowering litigation expenses. (Having a copyright registration, which gives you the legal presumption that you created the work, is equivalent in many ways.)
  3. A federal trademark registration confers rights on the holder throughout the United States and its territories. If you do not file for federal trademark registration, your trademark protection is solely based on common law rights acquired through the use of your brand in commerce within a specific geographic area, which may limit the enforcement of your trademark rights to the specific geographic areas where your brand is used.
  4. A federal trademark registration is listed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s publicly accessible database of registered trademarks, giving notice of your trademark rights to anyone searching for similar trademarks and potentially discouraging others from using a trademark that is identical or similar to yours. A side benefit of trademark registration is that it may assist deter copyright infringements and, in the event of an infringement, it may provide you with additional rights to sue for additional money damages under trademark law that you would not have under copyright law.
  5. A federal trademark registration demonstrates to your clients and potential clients that you are committed to your photography services as an entrepreneur, elevating your reputation above that of other photographers in a crowded and competitive sector.

With federal trademark registration, you have the legal authority to ask social media networks to remove infringing usage of your brand from their platforms.