A trademark is your business’ identifier, it protects ownership of your name, logo, tagline, or whatever mark you may use to identify to the consuming public your business’ product or service. Here are just a few reasons why you need to protect your brand:
Trademark registration of your mark gives everyone constructive notice of your ownership. In my view, this is one of, if not the most compelling reason for registering your mark. With notice, a third party doing a search on an identical or similar mark as yours will see that you already own the mark, and is therefore put on notice that its use of an identical or similar mark to yours may result in trademark infringement. The third party is placed on notice to find a new and different mark. With such notice, registering your mark prevents a potential conflict in the future.
Social media is an important resource for many businesses. Customers search for brand names on the various social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Each social media venue has policies in place to protect against improper activities including improper marketing. Unfortunately, the practice of a person(s) or entity improperly using another company’s name or brand on social media for financial gain, for example, is not uncommon. Such improper practices can result in the venue suspending the wrongdoer’s social media account. See the venue’s policies for more information. However, I have found that when you complain to a social media site of such wrongdoing and claim that another is using your brand without permission, the social media administrator responds with a request of proof of ownership of the subject brand. A trademark registration gives compelling proof of brand ownership.
Registering your mark shows a commitment to your brand and shows your customers that commitment. The goodwill that can be developed through such commitment is invaluable to a business.
Cybersquatters register domain names that are identical or similar to other parties’ trademarks or known brands with the sole purpose of selling them (to the rightful owner) for a high fee. The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act allows a trademark owner to sue and collect damages from individuals who register a domain name that is identical or similar to your trademark.
Trademark registration can continue for as long as you continue using the mark in commerce. There are some companies that have registered trademarks that are over 100 years old.
Trademark registration may not be for every business. However, there are many compelling reasons for protecting your brand just as you protect any other business asset. A trademark is your business’ brand, its identifier. Protect it with trademark registration.