The answer is, you shouldn’t. The entire premise of “white-labeling,” also called, “private-labeling,” is getting the ability to establish and grow your own brand without the burdensome process of creating and manufacturing a product, or coding and developing a software.
If you decided to go this route, you do not have exclusive ownership of your business’ intellectual property. The company who manufactures the product or maintains the software has the ownership, and you have a legal right to distribute it under your own brand. That means, the only thing of value your business really has at its core, is its brand!
This can be a really great thing. It allows you to create whatever type brand of your want. Whether it’s one with a customer-service focused message, or a highly creative marketing strategy, etc. Whatever route you take in branding your company, the core of it comes down to name-recognition. All of the efforts you take in pumping out marketing efforts and growing that customer list, etc. would be nothing without a brand name to associate it with. That is why it is essential to protect that name (from the beginning).
The way to protect your brand name is through the use of Trademark Law. Getting Federal registration of your Trademark can prevent others from using the same or similar names in association with the kind of products or services your company provides. It also helps you ensure access to the corresponding social media handles and allows you access to additional marketplaces and retailers.
The trademark registration process takes about a year to complete, and often much longer when conducted without the representation of an experienced attorney. While there is no way to “speed up the process,” there are ways to avoid hiccups that result in additional back and forth correspondence with the USPTO and extend the process by several months or even years. If ultimately your application is refused registration, you may be faced with “rebranding” and changing your name completely, which can be very costly. Afterall, you’ve just spent the last year or more investing time and money into that name.
Consulting with an experienced trademark attorney from the beginning will allow you to assess your risk and take the best available approach to brand-protection, avoiding the costly rebrand and loss of good-will and name-recognition down the road.
For more answers to your questions regarding trademark and brand protection, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 813-551-2484.