After graduating from law school, finding a traditional 9-5 position, and hating it, Nicole Swartz decided to forge her own path as an entrepreneur by starting a beauty brand. Two years in, she received a cease and desist letter for her brand’s name and had to change everything overnight.
She realized that she’d forgotten to focus on the legal side of things—and after checking in with her women entrepreneur friends, she discovered that they were also neglecting to protect their retail brands.
Now, Nicole runs Sprout Law, specializing in trademarking brand names, logos, slogans, and other assets for women-owned brands.
In this special episode of the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast, Kathy and Nicole discuss what it takes to trademark a retail business name, the upfront and ongoing costs of doing so, and how retailers can legally protect themselves.
- [01:37] Why Nicole became an attorney & specialized in trademarks
- [06:33] The number of trademarks Nicole has filed & obtained for small business owners
- [07:34] When it’s time to trademark a retail business name
- [13:32] The average cost of trademark registration with an attorney’s help
- [15:15] Ongoing costs for maintaining a trademark
- [18:44] Should you buy a trademark from someone else?
- [20:00] How to prove what you want to trademark is eligible for a trademark
- [20:59] How trademarks are approved
- [22:05] Do you actually need an attorney to file a trademark?
- [25:02] The different classes of trademarks & how they apply to retail businesses
- [27:31] How trademark disputes are settled between businesses with similar names
- [34:08] After applying, how long does it take for a trademark to be approved?
- [36:07] How retail business owners can work with Nicole
- [39:56] The difference between having an LLC and filing a trademark
- [41:00] How to connect with Nicole