10 Reasons Why Trademarks Are Important for Your Brand
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Federal Trademark registration is essential and shouldn't be overlooked. So, let’s explore some reasons why trademarks are important:
A trademark’s primary purpose is to identify the origin of ownership of the article to which it is affixed. Essentially, this means (in English) that a trademark is used as an identification sign. It distinguishes goods or services from those of a competitor.
Filing for federal trademark protection is essential. This is particularly true if one plans on selling, marketing, or offering goods or services under a specific company name or logo. Federal trademark registration gives you legal protection and rights.
Below are the top ten reasons why it is crucial to federally register trademarks for any brand.
1. To easily stop competitors
Small businesses take note:
If you don’t federally register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), absolutely anyone else can. This will immediately put your brand and any product or service development you are partaking in at risk.
Secure a registered trademark to protect your brand. Registration will provide you with superior legal rights against someone using a similar mark. Bear in mind that many may attempt to profit off your brand’s reputation and goodwill.
So, by acquiring this intellectual property protection, you can take action against other parties who attempt to copy or use your federally registered trademark.
Ultimately, by registering, you build a barrier to entry around your trademarked brand. This will provide legal protection and make it harder for other brands to imitate your brand identity.
2. To get exclusive, nationwide brand protection
A federally registered trademark gives constructive notice to the public of your claim of ownership of the trademark.
This means that with federal trademark registration, there is a legal presumption of your trademark ownership. Most importantly, a federally registered trademark gives you the exclusive right to use your trademark nationwide in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration.
Also, if you want to expand your business internationally, federal trademark registration can help you obtain international trademark registration.
3. To register with customs and border control
Trademark filing in the USA allows the trademark owner to file their federal trademark registration with the US Customs Services to prevent the importation of infringing foreign goods!
Customs will then be on the lookout at our borders and ports for counterfeit goods and infringing uses of the trademark.
4. For the automatic right to sue in Federal Court
Federal trademark registration gives you exclusive rights to bring an action concerning your trademark in Federal Court.
Because without federal registration, your rights are limited to:
(1) where you use the trademark
(2) where the trademark has been used
For example, if you obtain a California trademark, you cannot send a cease and desist letter to a business using the same name in Texas.
Your protection would be limited to California. Overall, suing in Federal Court usually provides more opportunities for enjoining an infringer’s use and potentially obtaining damages and attorney’s fees.
5. For quicker and cheaper resolution of disputes
If someone infringes your trademark, a simple cease and desist letter will do the trick.
And when the letter features a registered trademark, it's much stronger and more likely to lead to a quicker and cheaper resolution with positive results.
6. To easily protect your online identity
Federal trademark protection helps stop people who want to use your trademarked name for:
- A domain name.
- Their username or handle.
- An account on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
However, if someone signs up with your trademarked name as their handle or account:
Federal trademark registration avails you of the trademark infringement resolution process.
You’ll likely have to provide relevant trademark registrations. But that won’t be a problem if you’re federally registered. With federal registration, you can easily receive copies of your federal registration certificate and a link to the corresponding record in the USPTO’s online database.
7. For the ability to use ®
When explaining the significance of ®, it’s best to start by explaining the difference between ™ and ®.
Trademark ™: ™ is to be used by a business owner who hasn’t registered their brand name with the USPTO. A ™ signifies common law rights in a trademark and is used to protect an unregistered mark. However, the ™ doesn’t guarantee that the owner’s mark will be protected under trademark law.
Federally Registered Trademark ®: A ® signifies that a trademark has been registered with the USPTO, and the symbol can be used after the USPTO successfully registers the mark.
Federally registering a trademark gives the trademark owner superior rights over others in the US. And it provides the trademark owner the ability to recover damages against infringers.
Moreover, it also gives the trademark owner a strong presumption of ownership in the courts. This is because a registered ® trademark is much more preferable over an unregistered ™ trademark in the eyes of the law.
Overall, the ® looks official (because it is) and will help ward off potential infringers.
8. To make it easier for customers to find you
A brand’s reputation influences consumers' purchasing decisions.
The marketplace is very crowded, and it can be challenging for consumers to distinguish your brand from your competitors. Trademarks make capturing customers’ attention easy and make your brand stand out. In 1916, the Supreme Court of the United States said it best:
“The protection of trademarks is the law’s recognition of the psychological function of symbols. If it is true that we live by symbols, it is no less true that we purchase by them. A trademark is a merchandising shortcut which includes a purchaser to select what he wants, or what he has been led to believe he wants.”
Trademarks help consumers quickly identify and make a purchasing decision based on a recognized mark.
9. To add value to your brand
Overall, trademarks are one of the few assets that can provide a trademark owner a long-term competitive advantage.
And trademarks are an asset that can appreciate over time. Protecting your brand as a trademark gives you something extremely valuable:
You get an intellectual property asset that can be separately bought and sold along with goodwill (or be used to secure a business loan).
This will help your business make more money in the future. Especially if your business grows or if you later decide to sell your business, create franchises, or license your brand to others.
Overall, trademarks are leverageable. This means that they provide value beyond the core of the brand and can easily pave the way for brand expansion (or even acquisition, if desired).
10. Because trademarks never expire
Trademarks never expire unless you want them to.
However, you must submit maintenance documents with the USPTO to keep your trademark alive.
Take note: trademarks last for ten years and must be renewed every ten years.
Although the USPTO requires that between the fifth and sixth year after the registration date.
The registrant must file an affidavit stating that the mark is still in use. Thus, trademarks can be listed indefinitely if the trademark owner continues to use the mark to identify its goods or services.
And, a bonus reason
The USPTO’s Trademark Certificate of Registration is very official (and very cool!). It looks great framed on a wall. So, if this article has inspired you to register your trademark, don’t hesitate to contact one of our qualified trademark attorneys.
They’ll work through the process meticulously and carefully. This ensures successful trademark registration online (and a fancy new certificate).
Did you know that trademarks can make you money? Let's show you how!
Why are trademarks important to consumers?
Trademarks help consumers determine the source of the goods or services they purchase.
What is the value of a trademark?
Trademarks are valued on their projected future earning power. This can only be determined using the income history of your business.
How does a trademark add value to a company?
Trademarks add value to a company by accruing worth as an intangible asset and assisting customers in identifying your brand.
What is the primary purpose of a trademark?
Trademarks protect recognizable names, slogans, symbols, and other identifying brand features.
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Joshua J. Brouard brings a rich and varied background to his writing endeavors. With a bachelor of commerce degree and a major in law, he possesses an affinity for tackling business-related challenges. His first writing position at a startup proved instrumental in cultivating his robust business acumen, given his integral role in steering the company's expansion. Complementing this is his extensive track record of producing content across diverse domains for various digital marketing agencies.
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