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Advantages of Registering a Trademark

By James Wan

What you need to know (in a nutshell)

  1. Registering a trademark can shield a business in Court, make others aware of your legal ownership and create a brand identity that is memorable with customers.
  2. Registering a trademark can increase the value of a business, by allowing customers to recognise it instantly and by permitting the use of the ® symbol, which boosts credibility.
  3. Registering a trademark can enhance legal protection, by putting others on constructive notice of legal ownership of the trademark, granting exclusive use of the trademark and may even entitle the trademark owner to triple damages plus attorney fees in the case of a successful infringement action against an infringing third party.

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Advantages of Registering a Trademark

Forming a business often involves one crucial step that is forgotten by many entrepreneurs. Registering your trademark can shield you in Court, make others aware of ownership and create an identity that resonates with customers – all critical elements for success.

Many have started their own business while the job market recovers, but deciding whether or not to register a logo, slogan or company name requires an assessment of several factors. Generally if one is first to use such a trademark when selling goods/services then they gain rights for it immediately. Although registration isn’t compulsory there are significant benefits that come with doing so and protection against losses outweighs the cost of registering your trademark.

Trademarks Increase Your Business Value

The Internet has made the market fierce. To make your business stand out, a trademark allows customers to recognise it in an instant and adds value as well. It also permits you to use the ® symbol which boosts credibility for those not looking towards selling their company soon.

Nationwide Legal Notice

Registering your trademark with the USPTO puts others on “constructive notice” that you are its proprietor. This is advantageous as it means if someone else uses a similar brand and one takes them to Court, they won’t have to demonstrate this person knew ownership before infringement. A cease and desist letter referencing registration can be an effective way of making offenders stop using the same or a comparable logo/name; protecting against dilution or theft further reinforces why registering may help prevent the use of domain names that could be mistaken for yours.

Enhanced Protection

After five years, it is possible to have a trademark declared irrefutable. This grants exclusive use of the mark in Court and may even entitle you to triple damages plus attorney fees if successful. Furthermore, federal registration allows for the filing of infringement claims with federal jurisdiction which makes the discovery processing across states easier as well as presenting cases before experienced judges on the bench. Even without registering federally though, one can still raise an action in Federal court but doing so through official channels simplifies matters greatly.

Registration Eligibility Criteria

Generally, any combination of words, names and/or symbols used to brand a product or service can be registered as trademarks. Service marks are when the same is done for services (e.g.”Terminix”). Trade dress - such as colouring & packaging designs- may also be protected if not simply functional in nature; e.g., registering bottle shape that aids gripping would not be permitted.

To safeguard yourself against a legal battle, increase the worth of your company and inform competitors and customers that you own your brand identity, registering a trademark is highly recommended. The costs are minuscule in comparison to not getting it registered or the advantages gained when doing so.