Every business has at least one trademark

Avoid the business pitfalls of losing control and equity over your intellectual property through trademark protection.

A trademark is an integral part of the marketing strategy for any business. The public identifies a certain quality, reputation and image with goods and services bearing a trademark. Essentially everything a business does can affect the way consumers view their trademark. Thus, the more successful a business is, the more valuable the trademark becomes. However, without a registered trademark it’s harder to stop others from copying or imitating your intellectual property.

A trademark is usually a name or logo used to identify your business and by which consumers will associate products or services to your company. A trademark can be a brand name for a product (Apple), it can be a slogan or tagline you might use (Which Bank?), or a colour (Cadbury purple) or sound (Mr Whippy van) associated with your products. Even a shape or aspect of packaging (Coca-Cola Classic Bottle) can be a trademark.

Essentially, a trademark is the distinct component you use in the market place to gain recognition and trademark protection will grant you the exclusive right to use or license the use of that distinct component. Registering a trademark provides you with significant benefits in terms of brand protection.

Not only that, when combined with the power of branding, trademarks can create a range of emotional and intellectual responses that make us choose one product or service over another: if you’re buying a pair of jeans, would you buy Versace or Levi’s? If you’re buying a car, would you want a Mercedes or a Hyundai?

There are a number of commercial and legal advantages associated with registering your trademark rather than simply relying on common law or unregistered rights.

  1. A trademark makes your name, logo and other mark exclusive to you. Therefore, only you can use it. It strongly emphasises your uniqueness.
  2. Any future trademark application will be verified to ensure your trademark is not duplicated by your competitors. You can sleep better knowing an identical mark isn’t used within your own industry, causing confusion and diluting your brand.
  3. You would be surprised at the effect trademark registration has in deterring others from using similar marks. Talk about uniqueness!
  4. Your registered trademark is like property. You can even loan it out (licensing) in exchange for compensation.
  5. A trademark can become a valuable, intangible asset particularly given the increasingly important role they have assumed in advertising and marketing. Through advertising, consumers start to associate a certain image, quality or reputation with goods or services bearing a particular trademark. In today’s market the shape of a manufacturer’s goods or the packaging are ubiquitous, particularly in packaging to distinguish goods, which in turn becomes an integral part of a brand.

Every business has at least one trademark! How many does yours have?