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Chandler is an expert in intellectual property law. She is the founder of Lethal Legal, a virtual law firm that helps entrepreneurs protect their brands through trademarks. Chandler emphasizes the importance of owning your brand and offers WorkPlay members a quarterly trademark service to support business owners in protecting their assets.

Own your brand:

To create a visual marketing strategy that moves the needle, the first step is to ensure that you own your brand. Chandler emphasizes the importance of trademarking your brand name, logo, tagline, and other assets. She states, “The only way to own your brand is through a trademark, a federally registered trademark.” This ownership is crucial for building a professional reputation and instilling trust in your audience.

Conduct a clearance search:

Once you have an idea for your brand and a name in mind, the next step is to conduct a clearance search to ensure that the name is available for trademarking. Chandler advises using the trademark electronic search system (Tess) as a starting point. However, she cautions that Tess is not the final authority and recommends consulting an attorney for a comprehensive search. She explains, “Test is just a starting point. It’s not the end all be all. You can search as much as you want and test, and it’s never going to give you the full picture.”

Talk to an attorney:

If you discover that someone else already owns the brand name you had in mind, Chandler advises talking to an attorney. She explains, “If you find a company that has another name that is the same or similar…you absolutely need to talk to an attorney.” The attorney will help determine if the services offered by both brands are too similar and if there is a likelihood of confusion. It is essential to seek legal advice to navigate the complexities of trademark infringement.

Protect each individual product:

For businesses that offer physical products, Chandler highlights the importance of protecting not only the overall brand name but also each individual product. She advises considering different categories and filing trademarks for each product category. Chandler states, “When you are diving into a variety of different products, there’s multiple pieces to protect…you want to make sure that your actual products are protected in every single category.”

Utilize DIY resources:

Finally, Chandler addresses the financial aspect of trademarking. She acknowledges that legal protections can be costly, but suggests exploring options such as payment plans or utilizing DIY resources. Chandler mentions her own asset protection program (APP), which provides step-by-step guidance on filing a trademark independently. She emphasizes the importance of taking steps to protect your brand, stating, “It is necessary, but I also understand the reality of, hey, it costs money…but there are different DIY resources.”

Chandler’s Advice to Current and Future WorkPlay Members:

“Own your brand. If you don’t own your brand, you’re asking people to buy something from you, but you don’t even own it. You don’t even own what you’re selling.” – Chandler J. Esq

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