As a business owner, trademarking your brand name, logo or tagline may not be high up on your priority list. You have other things to worry about—some other business-related stuff that can be compared to a life-and-death situation or something like it. But did you know that you’re in a LOT of danger when you leave your brand unprotected?
In this article, you will learn the 7 reasons why you should register your trademark. Read more, and see how it can change your mind.
1. A trademark wards off cybersquatters
A great example is singer Bruce Springsteen. He may be popular, but he lost the rights to enforce his trademarks as a domain name because guess what—he never registered it. So a notorious cybersquatter decided to take the domain name and Mr. Springsteen can’t do anything about it.
When you register your trademark, it gives you an advantage over domain names that may be using your mark. The government can then put the domain name in question on hold until after the dispute is settled between parties. The likelihood of you winning with an unregistered trademark is slim to none so it’s to your advantage to file for a trademark even before you launch your product.
2. Prevents importation of goods that may infringe on your trademark
This is an extremely underrated advantage that most business owners don’t know about when they file for trademark registration. If you think that it’s a waste of money, think again.
When you get your official papers from the government, you may apply for your trademark with the Customs Office and prevent foreign goods from coming into the country if they would infringe on your trademark. Neat, isn’t it?
3. Enhanced protection
While you can stick to using a ™ on your brand name, logo, or tagline, being officially registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides you enhanced protection from copy-cats—businesses who profit off of your brand by using something very similar to it.
Having a trademark registration provides legal and absolute proof that you own your brand, logo, or tagline and it will be much easier to prove it in court. Furthermore, you can demand compensation from the damages up to three times the cost and even have the infringing party pay for all legal fees you spent in the entire process. This is the “offense” side of trademarks.
4. Valuable asset to your business
A trademark turns your brand into a valuable asset as it gives you nationwide priority when it’s recognized by the USPTO. A great example of this is George Clooney’s Tequila—Casamigos. Him and his business partner were able to sell it for a whopping $1 billion to one of the world’s biggest producers of spirits and alcohol, Diageo.
Of course, you would say that it’s because of Clooney’s celebrity status but in reality, they would have been able to buy Casamigos for much cheaper if Clooney hadn’t trademarked it. The Nike swoosh is a great example. They trademarked it early on and now, their logo is worth billions of dollars.
5. Nationwide priority
Registered trademarks with the USPTO as was mentioned, gives you national priority. This means that even if you are just doing business in New York, for example, you can later on use your trademarks in other states when your business expands. Unregistered trademarks only give you minimal protection—just the geographical area you’re in, but it still leaves your brand open to other businesses who may register a similar mark that would prevent you to register yours in the future.