Don’t Underestimate the Value of a Trademark
What would you do to protect your most valuable assets?
© 2021 Cami Boyd
What is your company’s most valuable asset? Is it your company’s reputation in your industry or your brand or name recognition in commerce? Do customers come to your company because they know that if they buy from you, they are buying the best? Most successful business owners would answer yes to these questions; but, surprisingly, many of these same business owners overlook or fail to prioritize protecting and policing their important brands. As a result, business owners who have not secured federal trademark registration of their name or most important product or service brand(s) leave their assets at risk. Luckily, trademarking enables you to safeguard your company’s valuable reputation with ease. We specialize in protecting these types of valuable assets. Read more about the value of a trademark and why you should trademark your assets!
What can be trademarked?
Trademark protection is a critical step in any business venture – a step that should never be overlooked. Trademarks are an effective communication tool. A single brand, logo, or tagline can convey intellectual and emotional attributes and messages about you, your company, your company’s reputation, and the quality of your products and/or services. This is why the value of a trademark is priceless. By protecting your valuable brands, you ensure that others cannot trade off of your reputation or use, copy, or imitate your brands or other valuable ideas. Trademarks are critical source indicators that drive customers to your company. Marks can be words, phrases, symbols, designs, or a combination of these. Don’t let your competitors leverage their businesses off of your company’s hard work and significant investments in development, branding, and marketing.
What are some examples that show the value of a trademark?
1. Trademarks are an effective communication tool. In a single brand or logo, trademarks can convey intellectual and emotional attributes and messages about you, your company, and your company’s reputation, products, and services.
2. Trademarks make it easy for customers to find you (and to distinguish you from your competitors).
3. Customers viewing your trademark(s) immediately know who they are dealing with, the reputation of your business, and are less likely to look for alternatives. Your company’s brand could be the critical factor in driving a customer’s purchase decision.
4. Trademarks allow your business to effectively utilize the Internet and social media. Your brand is the first thing customers enter into a search engine or social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) when looking for your products and services.
5. Trademarks are a valuable asset that appreciate in value over time as your business reputation grows.
6. The value of a trademark goes beyond your core business. Trademarks can lead the way for expansion from one industry to another or to an acquisition of your business or a portion thereof.
7. Trademarks are a property asset, similar to real estate, that can be bought, sold, licensed (like renting or leasing), or used as a security interest to secure a loan to grow your business. More or more lenders are looking to take security interests in intellectual property assets to loan money to businesses. Make sure your company has an impressive IP portfolio to secure needed capital.
8. Trademarks can make hiring easier. Brands can inspire positive feelings in people’s minds and can directly impact employee retention and recruitment of new employees.
9. Trademarks are a bargain to obtain. Call us for costs and filing fees, but the cost for registration is de minimus when compared to the value of your company and the investments that you make in launching and growing your business.
10. Trademarks never expire. Your trademark will not expire as long as you continue using a brand in commerce in the United States and are diligent in protecting and maintaining your trademark rights. Some of the most recognized brands in the United States today have been around for over a hundred years. Mercedes was first registered in 1900. Pepsi-Cola was registered in 1896.
What to do When Selecting a New Brand
Fundamental mistakes are often made by business owners when selecting a new company name or branding a new product or service. Before you adopt any new trademark or even an assumed name filing, you need to make sure the new brand/name is actually available for your use and potential registration with the U.S. Trademark Office. We refer to the process of ensuring that a trademark is available as “trademark clearance” and we perform trademark clearance services every day. We can help explain the value of a trademark and guide your company in the selection, clearance, adoption, and proper use of your company’s most valuable assets.
Trademark clearance is a critical step in selecting any new business name or product or service brand. It is not enough to make sure that a brand is not already registered at the U.S. Trademark Office. Rather, you need to know whether any third party is using an identical or similar brand or name in commerce, even if unregistered. It is a major setback for any business to launch with a new brand, only to receive a demand letter or threat of litigation for trademark infringement or unfair competition, within days or weeks of your launch.
Today’s Digital World Makes Trademarks More Important than Ever
Nowadays, brand registration, protection, and enforcement are more critical than ever. Your company’s online presence, digital marketing, and social media sites can be the first impression that your target consumers form of your company. Therefore, your company needs to be able to distinguish itself and protects its brand from misuse or misappropriation online. Careful brand selection and trademark registration are the keys to ensuring that your brands are protected in this digital age. Now that you understand the value of a trademark, it’s time to protect your most valuable assets.
Our firm has decades of experience helping clients develop and protect their brands. Contact us to find out how we can help you and your company protect your most valuable assets.