“Because You’re Worth It,” is a tagline trademarked by L’Oreal. We particularly like this slogan because we feel it embodies the very reason you should protect your intellectual property. There are many reasons to trademark your brand, so we compiled a brief top-ten list of some of the most significant reasons we believe it’s worth it. To showcase the versatility of marks already registered, each reason is headlined by a registered trademark.
- Value Creation [trademarked by The Summit Group Holdings, LLC]
First, trademarks are low in cost and appreciate in value over time. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) charges as low as $275 to acquire trademark registration and a similar small fee to have it renewed periodically. The more your business grows its reputation, the more your brand is worth. A business that grows and expands to protect multiple areas can easily build that reputable momentum. For example, you can sell your trademark as a property asset, or maintain it, and use it as a security interest to secure a loan to further grow the business yourself.
- Expand or Expire [pending registration by Anthony J. Ruiz]
Your trademark never has to expire. So long as you are using your mark in the United States’ commerce and paying the maintenance fees for renewal, your trademark can continue indefinitely. Some of the biggest brands in the U.S., from Quaker to Mercedes, have been around for well over a hundred years.
Photo Credit: quakeroats.com and mbusa.com
- Exclusive [trademarked by Ben-Glo Optical Inc.]
By registering your trademark, you will gain exclusive use. A trademark owner gains the exclusivity to use that mark within the relevant geographic area. This means if someone else comes into the same geographic territory and tries to use the same brand, the trademark owner will have the right to demand them to stop.
- Achieving Financial Wellness Without Unnecessary Risk [trademarked by Sucré-Vail, Inc.]
Registering your trademark can save you from a lot of unnecessary costs. Having a registered trademark can save you from facing the costs of reprinting your business cards, stationery, advertising and signs, when another company already has a similar or the very same name. It prevents confusion and the loss of customers who can no longer find your business, due to an unexpected name change. Furthermore, if you are found to have infringed on someone else’s registered trademark, you may be ordered to give yours up, forfeiting all profits earned using that name, as well as pay other damages such as fines and attorneys’ fees.
- Constructive Communication [trademarked by Constructive Communication, Inc.]
If another person tries to use your registered mark, he or she will be considered as willfully infringing upon your mark, therefore leaving you the ability to seek monetary damages from the infringement. Herein, it is just basic good business practice to make these kinds of preemptive moves to abstain from trouble down the road. Also, federal trademark registration serves as constructive notice to the country even if you’re not necessarily targeting business nationwide.
- Likelihood of Confusion [trademarked by Club W., Inc.]
Trademarks protect the consuming public by preventing marketplace confusion. Business owners should be concerned about distinguishing their products and/or services from less reputable brands. Having a strong, distinguishable brand, protects consumers from similar goods and services, by allowing them to properly identify the source of the good or service. Trademarks help to keep the quality in the marketplace intact.
- Recognition Isn’t Random [trademarked by Rare Victory]
Famous trademarks are often recognized as brands across borders, cultures, and different languages. When a brand obtains enough recognition, consumers can recognize it despite not speaking English or the same language. This is true because trademarks allow someone to succinctly convey their company, reputation, and goods and/or services simply by the display of their trademark.
- Happy Hiring [trademarked by Class Atlas Inc.]
Trademarks can make the hiring process easier. Since people would prefer to work for a better-known company with a well-regarded brand, it can give business owners a better pool of applicants from which to choose. Consumers often see popular brands as a reflection of the success of that business, therefore associating the company as having better employment opportunities and benefits to offer employees.
- Where Vision and Versatility Unite [trademarked by V2 Composites, Inc.]
Trademarks give people a lot of room to be creative in protecting their intellectual property. Trademarks can be visual such as logos or three-dimensional objects, or auditory (including music, sounds, or voices), and even cover smells/tastes/tactile things. The USPTO gives applicants a lot of freedom to properly protect one’s creativity.
- Your Billboard on the Internet [trademarked by United Directories, Inc.]
The world has gone digital. Consumers search for brand names on Facebook, Twitter, and all manner of social media sources. Social media websites have policies in place to suspend accounts who misuse and abuse registered, well-known brands. More generally, The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act passed in 1999, allows trademark owners to sue and collect damages from individuals who register domain names that are identical or too similar to their registered marks. This is an invaluable form of protection for business owners.
Article by Lara Hall