You’ll most likely have certain logos or designs that are unique to your company and/or items once you’ve decided how you’ll promote your goods or services to the public. These symbols are used to distinguish your business and help you stand out from the crowd. If another company utilizes the same (or almost identical) designs for its items, it risks confusing customers and diluting your brand. That is why trademark protection is so crucial.
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a trademark is protected simply by being used (provided it does not infringe on the trademark of another party). However, there are various benefits to trademark registration. The following are our ten reasons for doing so:
- Trademark Search: Before registering a trademark, your attorney will do a thorough trademark search. While you can do it on your own, it’s usually a lot more work than people think.
- Printing Costs: If you don’t register and subsequently discover that another firm has the same or a very similar name as you, you’ll have to replace all of your business cards, stationery, advertising, and signage. If you already have a domain name registered, you will need to update it as well.
- Customers Lost: If you have to alter your business name because someone else has already taken it, you risk confusing and losing customers.
- Exclusive Use: When you register your trademark, you gain exclusive rights to use it in the relevant geographic area.
- Option to Expand: If you do not register, you may lose the right to expand outside of your original company region.
- Presumption of Ownership: Anyone who uses your registered mark without your permission is presumed to be a willful infringer, and you may be entitled to monetary damages as a result.
- State Law Protection: If the mark is registered with the state, some state laws provide additional protection in an infringement case.
- Federal Protection: Even if you don’t do business nationwide, federal registration serves as a constructive notice to the rest of the country that you own the mark.
- Liability to Registered Owner: If you do not register and a registered owner of the same or substantially similar mark finds you, the owner has an endless period to discover you and sue you for infringement.
- Money, Money, and More Money: If you infringe on someone else’s name or mark, you may be required to rename your business immediately, give up all revenues earned from the unregistered mark, and pay further damages, such as punitive damages, fines, and attorneys’ costs.
Do you want to file a trademark application? Get Legal Assistance Perhaps the most important benefit of trademark registration is the peace of mind it delivers. The same may be said regarding hiring an attorney because if something goes wrong, the cost of not having legal representation can be rather substantial. To register your trademark or service mark, contact us.