Most Colorado business owners are faced with everyday challenges, such as juggling employees’ schedules and finding new business opportunities, which leave them with little time for long-term planning. Unfortunately, they may be neglecting one of the most important components of building a brand that will last: protecting their trademark.

Now that more brands are becoming known around the globe, it is more important for businesses to protect their name and symbols from trademark infringement. Otherwise, an international business could be forced to change its name, slogan or symbol in one country or region and lose the brand recognition it had already achieved.

Although most Colorado businesses aren’t as recognized as the Olympics, it may be helpful for business owners to follow its example when it comes to protecting their brand. Thanks to decades of zealous trademark protection, the Olympics is recognized in nearly every part of the world.

The International Olympic Committee is firm but polite in its dealings with organizations and businesses that are in violation of its trademark. For instance, the IOC sued The North Face for using Olympic terms in its recent international clothing collection. Fortunately, many companies can avoid litigation by issuing simple cease-and-desist letters. Also, the Olympics can teach businesses that when trademark disputes arise, it is best for the people involved to keep in mind that they’re in a business relationship, not a personal one.

Through years of hard work and diligence, a symbol can become a company’s most valuable asset. For this reason, business owners may want to think of their name, symbol and logo as investments. When it comes to intellectual property, it is best to work with an attorney with experience in this area.

Source: Reuters, “What Sochi Can Teach Us About Trademarks,” Feb. 20, 2014