• Sara Witt, Witt Law, PLLC

Trademarking in the Equine Industry


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With Derby Day barely behind us, the great state of Kentucky and those fabulous thoroughbreds and oh that fashion, have been in the spotlight. Trademarking is often important in the equine industry and if you haven’t thought of Trademarking your brand now is a great time to start.


What is a trademark? A trademark is a symbol or word(s) that are used to represent your business or products. Once you have registered your Trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office “USPTO” your word or symbol cannot be used nationwide by anyone in the same type of goods/services that you registered your trademark for. If someone does use your name, symbol, slogan, etc. that has been registered they are infringing upon your trademark rights and you can prevent them from doing so, and they also could owe you damages or profits they have made with the use of your name.



So, how could this benefit those in the horse industry? Well, there are several benefits to registering a trademark such as brand protection, and potential income from licensing and franchising. Ranch owners could register the names of their ranch to prevent anyone from stealing their brand identity or copying their intellectual property. Horse breeders could register the name of the particular family name. Horse names can also be registered. Ranch owners could also trademark their logos.


“California Chrome” won the Preakness in 2014 and his owners registered his name with the USPTO. “Big Brown” who won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, name was Trademarked in 2008. Why are they trademarking these names? Well, to prevent someone else from making money on their investment. Think of the licensing deals that will come from the Derby this weekend! If “Medina Spirit” doesn’t have a trademarked name yet, someone in his camp will likely be registering soon.


Licensing is a great way to earn passive income on your investment. If you would like to license your ranch or family breed name to another person you can develop a license or franchising agreement to get income just for allowing them to use your name, logo, etc. In order to franchise, a trademark is almost always one of the prerequisites.



If you have a business, ranch, horse name, or other name you are interested in trademarking reach out to me by calling 304-583-4049 or www.wittlawpllc.com to schedule a free call to discuss the Trademark process and how to begin protecting your investment.


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