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The Importance of Trademark Registration

Monday July 9, 2012 at 10:46pm
Protect your brand
If you are in the process of starting a business, it’s likely that you have heard about trademark registration and the importance of getting legal protection for your brand. This is crucial not just because you want and need exclusive legal rights to your brand, logo, symbol, or name, but also because having your trademark application accepted means that you are not infringing on anyone else’s mark. This means that you not only have the legal standing to pursue any company that infringes on your mark, but also more secure legal ground to stand upon if there ever comes a time to defend against a lawsuit.

Identifying your product

Even without considering the legal benefits of trademark registration, the process is still integral to building a successful brand. Almost everyone can instantly identify the blue F of Facebook, even if they are not a user, or the curly script of the Coca-Cola logo. These branding tools are so powerful that they work without words: we see three stripes down an athlete’s arm and understand that they are sponsored by Adidas, or a “swoosh” and know that they are wearing Nike athletic wear.

The ability to identify your product easily among hundreds or thousands of competitors gives you a competitive edge that is well worth the investment of time, trade mark application fees, or even a trademark lawyer to help the process run smoothly. Once you have earned goodwill for your products or services, consumers can use your trademarks to compare your product to the competition, but more importantly it allows them to easily identify your product easily and thus purchase it again. Your trademark then becomes a seal of quality and consistency, assuring consumers that the taste, feel, or overall experience of doing business with your company is reliable and easily found again.

The importance of uniqueness

Even those who understand the role of trademarks in branding, marketing, and consumer relations can hold back their own success if they don’t choose the right mark. In the realm of trademark registration, the name of the game is distinctiveness, as this serves both to make your product instantly identifiable and gives you broader legal protection.

Make sure your marks have “secondary meaning,” which is a key factor in whether or not trade mark applications are accepted by the Intellectual Property Office. This means that instead of choosing a logo or name that simply describes your product, have a unique calling card that others will see and think of your brand. The formula that many use is trademark + goods = source, which can be explained by saying that a laptop + an apple with a bite taken out = Apple computers. There is nothing about Apple’s trademarks that describe their electronics, which means that their trademarks have successfully taken on “secondary meaning.”

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