"I'd recommend to anyone that you automatically get a national trademark on anything you do. You don't have anything to lose." That poignant advice comes from Larry Reinstein, CEO of the Souper Salad chain of takeout restaurants based in Newton, Mass. When Reinstein's father opened the first Souper Salad, in 1976, he wasn't thinking of going national. "But," says Reinstein, "his sons came along with visions of bigger things." However, the sons were in for a rude shock: another Souper Salad, based in Dallas, owned the national trademark. Forced to rethink their expansion, the Reinsteins introduced in 1997 a new urban eatery called Fresh City, now rolling out in three states. And they've retained top-notch trademark lawyers.

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