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Brand recognition can set your company apart, so protect it

Experience often drives innovation. Designing a product, starting a company and getting sales coming in the door can take all of your time. Entrepreneurs spend time on design and logos, but then often fail to take the additional step of protecting them with a trademark.

A start-up company called Mamava is leaving nothing to chance. The founders designed a breastfeeding and pumping "suite" for nursing mothers.

The founders of the company identified a problem. Three in four new mothers in the United States initially breastfeed their babies. That percentage drops to only 16% at six months. The return to work makes exclusive breastfeeding extremely challenging. However, The Affordable Care Act (often referred to as Obamacare) addressed this issue by requiring breaks for nursing mothers and free breast pumps. Another requirement was a private place other than a bathroom for nursing or pumping.

Their solution is suites that offer a clean and fresh space for mothers. They install easily in airports, sports stadiums and offices.

Logo design

The logo is supposed to celebrate the special nature of breastfeeding and evoke happy breasts - an upper case M with a smile. The company is currently seeking trademark protection of the logo. At some point, the logo could become what all mothers look for at airports whether travelling for work or with baby.

Recognizing that competitors could offer a lower grade rectangular equivalent, the founders used a rounded design for their pods. The shape is unique and stands out as well. As the brand grows, the company can differentiate its premium product.

Why register a trademark

A trademark used to identify a product takes on value of its own as the brand grows. Registering the trademark is the first step to protect it from competitors. If another company used the same smile-y M shape from our example, it would be open to a trademark infringement lawsuit and damages.

The intellectual property of a company is different from inventory or purchase orders and can be hard to value. When you work hard to build your brand, take the next steps and protect it.

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