Trademarks are tricky business. If you’re in the beauty business, you know how important it is to have a niche, a skill, or something that sets you apart from all the other stylists out there. So what can you do to protect yourself and your ideas?
Can a Stylist Trademark a Hairstyle?
It’s feels amazing to be the first person to think of a specific hairstyle or design but, unfortunately, you can’t actually trademark the design itself. Trust the public, though. A lot of people will flock to the creator of a design or idea because they prefer going to the source. If you’ve created something unique, give it a great name (if it’s a unique name, you may be able to trademark that) and make sure you make it known that you are the original designer.
If you give the hairstyle a name and a special logo with an image of the style, you can trademark those things. Using that logo to sell your services makes it something you can trademark. That won’t stop people from attempting to recreate your hairstyle in other salons, but it will prevent them from being able to use a similar logo/image or name in their advertising. This further cements your position as the first to create, design, name, and market the hairstyle; and it adds authority to your position in your field of expertise.
Checking for Existing Trademarks
If you’ve taken a style and improved upon it, you’ll need to tread carefully. If it’s too close to something someone else has trademarked, you can land yourself into hot water. Always do your research and check to make sure there aren’t already trademarks for the names, logo styles, and images you want to use. It’s better to spend a bit of money doing the research, or hiring someone to do that research for you, than it will be to pay out for damages in a lawsuit.
Legal Representation and Counseling
As a business owner and stylist with great ideas, you’re encouraged to have some sort of legal counsel. If you can’t afford a meeting with a business lawyer, try to find out about some of the pre-paid legal services out there. They can at least help you go over contracts, answer simple questions, and get you discounts when you do need to see a local lawyer in person.
Congratulations on creating something unique to share with the world. Do your best to document, display, and make your product known. Do it fast and make it big – so your name is associated with your creation for as long as possible!
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