Protecting Your Veterinary Brand: Trademark, Copyrights, and Intellectual Property 101

If you’re a busy veterinary practice owner, intellectual property may be the last thing on your mind. However, failing to protect your copyrights and trademarks could hurt your practice and prevent you from growing your brand. One of the best ways to protect your overall brand is to protect your intellectual property. This article will discuss how you can protect your trademarks and copyrights as a veterinary practice owner. 

What Types of Intellectual Property Can I Protect?

Any work or product resulting from someone’s original thought is considered intellectual property. As a veterinary practice owner, it’s important for you to take steps to protect your valuable intellectual property from being stolen. Common examples of a veterinary practice’s intellectual property include the following:

  • Business names
  • Inventions
  • Artwork
  • Logos and other designs
  • Written articles
  • Product names
  • Website content

Protecting Your Brand Through Trademarks

Taking the time to trademark the name of your veterinary process can help you compete and expand your practice. As a veterinarian, you know that your practice’s name and reputation go a long way toward your success. When customers choose a veterinarian, they want to be able to trust your practice to care for their beloved pets, who are often like family members. 

Creating a strong brand, including a trademarked name and logo, not only gives you a comprehensive brand for all of your services and products but also empowers you to protect your business from counterfeit products. It ensures customers don’t confuse you with another product, and allows your customers to locate you more easily on social media platforms. This strategic move can significantly enhance your business’s visibility and credibility. 

Filing for a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gives you significant legal protection. Filing for trademark protection is relatively inexpensive and provides a trademark certificate valid for ten years increments in exchange for a small maintenance fee. Filing a trademark can also help you avoid litigation from another veterinary practice claiming you violated their trademarks. 

Copyrighting Your Veterinary Practice’s Website

As a veterinary practice owner, your website is an essential asset for your company. Many customers look at a business’s website, make an impression, and decide whether to book an appointment. 

You have the right to obtain a copyright for the eligible pages on your website because they include tangible, original, and creative work. When you publish your website online, it’s wise to register a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. If you work with a web developer, ensuring your contract ensures you own the copyright exclusively is important. 

An attorney can help you identify which parts of your website can be copyrighted and submit a completed application form, a filing fee, and a deposit. When you successfully apply, the U.S. Copyright Office will list your website on public record, providing potential copyright infringers notice. 

If a violator, such as a competitor, willfully copies your veterinary website, you can pursue damages of up to $150,000. This protection cannot only prevent others from using your content without permission but also enhance your reputation as a unique and innovative veterinary practice.

Contact Our Experienced Nationwide Veterinary Lawyers

To ensure comprehensive protection of your intellectual property as a veterinary practice owner, it’s crucial to seek guidance from an experienced veterinary lawyer. The skilled lawyers at Mahan Law are here to provide you with the necessary legal advice and assistance to protect your valuable intellectual property. Please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation and take the first step towards safeguarding your business.