Quick Summary

12 Benefits of A Trademark: How To Keep Your Brand Image Safe

12 Benefits of A Trademark: How To Keep Your Brand Image Safe

1) Trademarks Enhance The Worth Of The Organization's Brand.

2) Trademarks Alert The Public Of The Registrant's Claim Of Ownership Of The Mark.

3) Trademarks Give You The Prestige Of The ® Symbol.

4) Trademarks Prevent Others from Using Your Mark & Stealing Your Customers.

5) Trademarks Identify Your Merchandise And/Or Services.

12 Benefits of A Trademark: How To Keep Your Brand Image Safe

9 min read

Trademarks can be difficult to obtain at times, which can lead a lot of entrepreneurs to wonder whether the benefits of a trademark truly out-weigh the costs.


That’s fair, we understand.


Starting a company, brand, or campaign already demands a lot of resources, so you have to ensure that you allocate those resources appropriately.


So, we’ve listed off 12 main benefits of trademarks to give you the chance to determine for yourself whether or not it’s a worthy investment for your company.


1) Trademarks Enhance The Worth Of The Organization's Brand


Securing a trademark for your brand signifies to others that your brand has value. By having a trademark, you show the world a few things:


   A) This brand is worth protecting

    B) This brand has enough potential that the cost to trademark it was a worthwhile investment

   C)  The product/services that this company is offering is valuable enough that others will likely want to rip it off

    D) The owner of this mark means serious business

   

If a brand isn’t even worth the cost to get it protected, then the brand is likely not worth much at all.


In fact, many investors will and do refuse to invest in a brand that isn’t trademarked. Why would they spend their hard-earned money on a brand that may get infringed on (causing them to lose money)?


Or, even worse, what if they invest their money into a brand that someone else might trademark? That would force them (and you) to lose out on some of that investment. This generally results in a restart of the brand and lose the traction that attracted investors to the investment in the first place?


Trademarking your brand signifies a lot of things to the public, investors, potential partners, customers, and should even signify that to YOU. It marks the beginning of a brand that’s going places.


2) Trademarks Alert The Public Of The Registrant's Claim Of Ownership Of The Mark


By filing a trademark, you are proclaiming to the public that you are the owner of your mark.


This has quite a few different advantages, such as no longer having the burden of proof that you own the mark in a court of law (which we’ll discuss below), increased publicity as people can see your mark as registered with the USPTO, and shows others that you are serious about your mark.


Now that you have a trademark, the entire public knows it.


3) Trademarks Give You The Prestige Of The ® Symbol


Once a trademark is registered, the owner may start marketing its products under the mark with the ® symbol or emblem.


This emblem, or marking, notifies the public that the mark is registered with the USPTO and that its owner enjoys all of the accompanying benefits of trademark registration. The emblem may give the mark higher authenticity and informs would-be infringers that the proprietor takes its intellectual property rights seriously. This may provide a larger deterrent to others who might otherwise infringe on your mark.


When a trademark is registered, the trademark owner gets qualified for enhanced compensation against counterfeiters. The Lanham Act provides for statutory damages against counterfeiters in addition to treble damages and attorney fees for deliberate counterfeiting.


As damages can sometimes be difficult to prove (especially if the accused counterfeiter is willing to lie and falsify information), these statutory damages can offer an avenue of redress where it may otherwise be difficult or prohibitively expensive to prove exact damages.


Moreover, the treble damages and attorney fees for intentional or willful violation of the mark becomes a powerful deterrent.


4) Trademarks Help Prevent Others from Using Your Mark & Stealing Your Customers


Without formal protections protecting your brand, you open yourself up to copycats not only stealing your customers, but also risk exposing your brand’s reputation to tarnishing.


Copycats aren’t going to be as motivated to ensure your customers have a positive customer experience when they steal your clients. So, if you allow them to sell using your mark, chances are people are going to associate your brand with whatever negative quality my be provided them by your copycat.


So, not only are they directly stealing your customers away, but they are also hurting your chances of getting future customers because of confusion regarding your brand.


Although a trademark can’t stop them from attempting to steal your brand, it DOES empower you to stop them the moment that you become aware.


5) Trademarks Identify Your Merchandise And/Or Services


A vital purpose of a brand is to establish a source of the products that they are buying. When people have a good experience with your products/services, they are going to want to experience them again.


By having a solid logo, name, and thematic elements, they are going to have what they need to find you again and make repeat purchases. They’ll know “Hey, it’s this company!”


A brand builds an expectation of quality, and assuming the quality of your offering is high, it builds loyalty.


Copycats can ride the coattails of your brand, and having a trademark will help you stop that from happening.


6) Trademarks Qualify You For Certain Monitoring Programs


Once you acquire a trademark, you can sign up for government programs that will monitor imports. If they find any imports that are infringing on your trademark, they will actually stop the item from entering. This gives you additional security from imported copycat materials.


In other words, your trademark gives you real power to stop foreign knock-offs from entering the country. This gives you more secure access to your market.

You do need your trademark to be approved first and then apply to the program through the government.


7) Trademarks Qualify You for Brand Protection on Websites That You Sell Your Products On (Such As Amazon Brand Registry)


Not only do trademarks give you the rights to block copycats coming through the border, but they also expand your rights on various selling platforms (such as Amazon).


Once you have an official trademark, it becomes MUCH easier to prove that you are the original owner of the mark, and platforms like Amazon will have greater power to stop those that try to sell your product online. Allow the powerful tools of these platforms to enforce your rights to your trademark.


8) Trademarks Award You National Legal Presumption of Ownership


Without a trademark, you still have rights to your creation (although those rights are more difficult to enforce). You have the right to use that mark in the areas that you are operating.


HOWEVER, you do NOT have the rights to your creation outside of that area.


For example, if you own a craft store in Helena, MT named “Helena Handbasket” with the slogan “We’re going to Helena Handbasket!”, you’d own the rights to that slogan in Helena and potentially the surrounding area.


However, if someone else were to open a store with the same slogan in Louisiana, you might have trouble forcing them to stop using your slogan.


9) Trademarks Give You Greater Accessibility To International Protection Through The Madrid Protocol


The United States is a member state in the Madrid Protocol, allowing trademark owners in one country to extend their trademark rights to other countries who are parties to the Protocol. A trademark owner with an active trademark registration may make use of the Madrid Protocol.


Domain name registrars (such as GoDaddy) have adopted the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy ("UDRP"), an informal dispute resolution mechanism for challenging the possession of a specific domain name without the full undertaking of a lawsuit.


To get a successful challenge of a domain name under the UDRP, the claimant must prove it has rights in the claimed trademark and that the domain registrant acquired the domain name in bad faith. Without a registered trademark, it's much more difficult to establish rights in the mark and bad-faith registration of the domain name in question.


10) Trademarks Save You Money During Litigation


Should a competitor decide to try to rip off your brand, the matter can be taken to court. If you DON’T have a registered trademark before that point, then the burden of proof of ownership would lie first with the party claiming infringement of the mark.


This can eat up, not only your time (that you could be using to continue to grow your business), but it will also cost you in attorney fees.


By having a registered trademark, you incontestably establish that YOU are the owner of the mark. Since the USPTO will only register the mark to a single owner, the offending party will have an uphill battle if they want to prove that you are not the owner.


By registering your trademark before an infringement, you save yourself the hassle, time, and money that can be better allocated to more pressing matters.


11) Trademarks Protect Against Cybersquatters


Trademarks have also been used to prevent extortion by cybersquatters.

One great example comes from Google, who didn’t manage to secure the domain name googblog.com before a cybersquatter snatched it up from them.


However, Google asserted its trademark rights and pointed out the risk of confusion in googblog.com . Google won the case and was transferred the rights to googblog to Google.


Cybersquatting is an act of deliberate or intentional bad faith on the part of the registrant in the hopes of being able to sell the domain to the owners of the corresponding mark.


12) Trademarks Award You Incontestable Status Following Five Years of Registration


Similar to point 9, if a competitor were to attempt an infringement on your brand, you may have to deal with a legal battle proving you are the owner of the mark. This isn’t restricted to just legal battles, however. You may have to battle it out on various platforms (such as Amazon, Shopify, Etsy, etc.) as well.


Those platforms will have to conduct their own investigations into each infringement battle. Hopefully they all come to a favorable conclusion but any risk on this point is too much.


However, an official USPTO Trademark is essentially incontestable proof that YOU are the original owner of the mark. That turns a lengthy process into a simple matter: what are the damages?


Furthermore, your mark become incontestable 5 years after the trademark is approved by the USPTO. This means that your trademark cannot be challenged unless it suffers from becoming a generic term and loses its ability to identify a particular source of a good or service (more on this another time).


LAST IMPORTANT NOTE:


You're responsible for enforcing your rights should you receive a registration because the USPTO doesn't "police" the use of trademarks.


What Does That Mean? That means that no one is actively watching out to ensure that thieves, copycats, and infringers aren’t infringing on your trademark. It’s essentially up to you to find those that are watering down your brand and stealing your business.


If you aren’t already actively looking for potential infringers on places like Amazon, US Customs (imports from other countries), and more, your trademark may not be protecting you fully.


If you’d like a trademark monitoring service, we monitor all of these places for you for a simple $19.99/month, and we’ll alert you if anyone infringes on your trademark.


Feel free to grab a free consultation with us to find out if trademark monitoring is right for you.

Conclusion

12 Benefits of A Trademark: How To Keep Your Brand Image Safe

12 Benefits of A Trademark: How To Keep Your Brand Image Safe

1) Trademarks Enhance The Worth Of The Organization's Brand.

2) Trademarks Alert The Public Of The Registrant's Claim Of Ownership Of The Mark.

3) Trademarks Give You The Prestige Of The ® Symbol.

4) Trademarks Prevent Others from Using Your Mark & Stealing Your Customers.

5) Trademarks Identify Your Merchandise And/Or Services.

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