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The true cost of rebranding

Picture this situation: after a hard year of work building your business, you finally make time for a big family vacation. You’ve been planning this for months, a dream vacation in Hawaii.

As the plane lands in Hawaii on a particularly sunny day, you pull out your phone and turn off airplane mode. And suddenly, a notification pops up that you can’t help but read. During your flight, you got a new email.

The subject line says: “Cease and Desist.” You open up your mail app, and see a letter from a company that claims you’re infringing on their brand. They’re threatening a lawsuit if you don’t rebrand your entire business in 30 days.

Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it? You’ve spent all this time and money to finally be with your family and not think about work for a while. But now you’ll be glued to your laptop the whole trip trying to recover from this legal threat that blindsided you.

The truth is that this is the story of one of our clients.

Imagine this happening to you — what would you do? In this blog post, we will break down the real cost of the whole rebranding process, and what our recommended next steps are if you ever receive a letter like this.

First, what are your options after receiving a Cease and Desist letter? 

OPTION 1

Option 1 – Fight it in court: Know that you can take these types of cases to court. But keep in mind the following: 

  • One, they can be very very long. See Walmart v. Kanye as a reference. 
  • Two, on average, the legal fees that businesses  pay in order to have a chance to win are around $200,000. 

OPTION 2

Option 2 – Fight it out of court: If the other side is willing to negotiate or meet you in the middle in terms of some kind of agreement, you may be able to resolve the matter without going to court. If you are interested in settling the dispute without having to rebrand, then you should reach out to your trademark lawyer immediately to advise you on the matter. 

  • One, they can be very very long., See Walmart v. Kanye as a reference. 
  • Two, on average, the legal fees that businesses you will have to pay in order to have a chance to win are around $200,000. 

OPTION 3

Option 3 – Rebranding: This often seems like the most viable option for business owners.  But keep in mind that it does not mean that it is a very easy one. 

To make the rebranding process an easier one for your company, Indie Law recommends that you follow these 3 steps:

  • Contact an attorney: first they will examine the authenticity of the letter, and at the same time they will form part of your solid team to begin the rebranding process.
  • Find a naming specialist: this person can help you come up with a list of several new name options that are on-brand for your business. While this whole process can be frustrating, we’ve found that many business owners who are forced to rebrand wind up liking their new name even better. 
  • Apply for a trademark application for your new name as soon as possible: the main purpose would be to definitively avoid having to go through a rebranding process again.

The main point that we want you to always keep in mind is that, as scary as it may be to receive a cease and desist letter, you have options for how to proceed. 

To avoid something like this ever happening to you, let’s talk! The first consultation is complementary.