Nashville is world famous for its music industry, but it’s the culinary scene that’s getting a lot of attention recently. In addition to a vibrant local food scene, celebrity chefs like Jonathan Waxman, Sean Brock, Maneet Chauhan, Dale Levitski, Richard Blais, and Donald Link have all recently opened restaurants.
In today’s increasingly competitive restaurant industry, brands are probably the most valuable assets that celebrity chefs own. They play a critical role in generating demand and building relationships with customers and partners. This is known as developing “goodwill.” A trademark is an embodiment of this goodwill.
A trademark is a brand name, slogan, or logo. It can also be a sound, a color, or even a smell. Pretty much anything can be a trademark as long as it identifies the source of goods and services and distinguishes them from the goods and services of others.
The best way to protect your trademark is with a federal trademark registration. Federal trademark registration provides important legal benefits such as a presumption of nationwide validity and the right to use the ® symbol. Federal registration can also be instrumental in enforcing rights with social networking sites.
Jonathan Waxman is the elder statesman of the celebrity chefs in Nashville, and he’s particularly astute about protecting his brand. The name of his Nashville restaurant – Adele’s – is protected by a federal trademark registration. He has also protected his own name with a federal trademark registration for consulting services.
Nashville’s other celebrity chefs have followed in Jonathan Waxman’s footsteps when it comes to protecting their brands. Sean Brock’s Husk, Donald Link’s Cochon Butcher, Dale Levitski’s Sinema, and Richard Blais’ FLIP Burger Boutique are all protected by federal trademark registrations.
What is true for celebrity chefs is true for all chefs. Brands can give you a competitive edge. How you protect your brand can have a significant impact on the return you obtain from your restaurant.
Brand protection starts with obtaining a federal trademark registration. When you consider that it usually costs less than $1,500 to obtain a federal trademark registration, registration provides exceptional bang for the buck.