Nationwide Dental Trademark/IP Attorney

a dentist working on a documents about dental trademarks/ip

In addition to treating patients and managing employees, dental practice owners need to consider protecting their intellectual property. Your dental practice’s name is what patients see when they come to your office and what they use to refer friends and family. Protecting your dental practice’s name through a dental trademark can help you protect your practice’s brand identity and reputation. 

The attorneys at Mahan Dental Law help dentists secure trademarks, patents, and other intellectual property protections. We understand the challenges dentist practice owners face, as many of our attorneys are dentists. When you work with Mahan Law, we will carefully review your intellectual property needs and develop a comprehensive plan to protect you and your brand. 

How to Protect Your Brand with a Dental Trademark

After purchasing a dental practice or starting one yourself, you’ll benefit from protecting your brand and reputation. Protecting your brand name is important to maintaining and growing a successful dental practice. Obtaining a trademark is an important way to protect your brand. A trademark protects a logo or name used as part of a service. Trademarks are generally made up of a word or words, symbols, designs, and other language. 

The trademark must indicate that the services are unique and distinct from others. A trademark generally lasts for ten years after registration but can be renewed every ten years. As the owner of a dental practice, you could trademark your practice name, logo, or a specific phrase you use as part of your advertising. 

Are Trademarks Automatic?

Forming or incorporating a dental business will not automatically give you trademark rights to your dental practice name. Most states only allow a single entity with a registered name to exist within the state. However, a dental practice in a neighboring state may have a business name similar to yours, confusing your customers. Protecting your dental practice and retaining the use of your name requires you to create a trademark and register it federally. 

What Are the Benefits of Registering a Trademark for My Dental Practice?

Several benefits come from registering a trademark of your business name and slogan. Registering a trademark allows you to enforce your legal right to exclusively use your name, logo, slogan, or other identifying mark. Registering a trademark allows you exclusive rights to use it in connection to your dental practice. If you discover another dental practice using your trademarked intellectual property, you can take legal action against them.

Obtaining a trademark provides you with your brand reputation and can bolster your dental practice’s reputation in the marketplace. Your trademark will distinguish your dental practice from your competitors, creating a unique identity that patients can trust. 

Additionally, obtaining a trademark can help you expand your business through licensing opportunities. You may be able to expand geographically and open additional dental practices under your established brand. Finally, obtaining a trademark can increase the value of your dental practice. A trademark can be licensed, assigned, or used as collateral for securing loans, increasing the overall value of your business if you decide to sell it in the future. 

The Benefits of Registering a Federal Trademark 

When you register a trademark for your dental practice, you have the right to use your mark in connection with the dental services you provide, as stated in your registration documents. If you register with the state you’re in, you will only enjoy these benefits within that state. Federally registering your trademark extends your legal protection throughout the United States and its territories. Obtaining a federally recognized trademark puts the public on notice that you own the rights to your trademark throughout the United States. 

Copyright Protection for Dental Practices

Copyright provides legal protection for an original work of authorship that arises from tangible media. This is a broad description of the types of work protected by copying. As the owner of a dental practice, you may have a right to copyright the design of your dental practice’s mascot. If you’ve created digital artwork used by your dental practice, obtaining copyright protection can be beneficial. 

While registration isn’t required for trademarks or copyright protection, registering your intellectual property provides added legal protections. Registering a copyright allows you to denote your copyright as part of the public record. Additionally, you’ll need to register your intellectual property before pursuing a legal claim against another party for copyright or trademark infringement. The sooner you register, the more evidence you’ll have that your copyright is valid. 

Protecting Your Social Media Handles 

Many dental practices use social media to attract new patients and retain their current patients. Dental practice owners may not realize the value of their social media accounts and fail to protect them properly. It’s important that your dental practice owns all of the social media handles registered along with your trademark. If you don’t protect your social media accounts, current and potential patients may become confused, jeopardizing your practice’s reputation and profit in the process. 

What if another office uses your name as part of their social media handle? If you’ve obtained a federal trademark for your practice’s name, the social media company will generally decide you’re the rightful owner of the social media handle. 

The social media company will likely deem you the “rightful” owner of the social media handle. After you complete an online form with proof of trademark ownership, the company will likely provide you access to the social media handle. Before you take legal action, you should discuss your case with an intellectual property attorney. 

Contact Mahan Dental Law About Your Dental Practice Needs 

The intellectual property attorneys at Mahan Dental Law have an in-depth understanding of how trademarks, copyrights, and patents help dentists grow their practices. Don’t hesitate to contact Mahan Law to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation. We are prepared to help you learn how to protect and grow your dental practice through intellectual property protection.