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How trademarks can boost the value of your small business

By James Wan

What you need to know (in a nutshell)

  • Small business confidence was slowly increasing in Q3 of 2020. There is still a difficult road ahead for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Trademarks are a valuable form of protection for businesses, as they help identify a business’s products and services, build its reputation and provide exclusive rights to the owner.
  • To register a trademark, you must ensure that the mark is eligible, perform a trademark search, and complete and file a trademark application with the appropriate government agency. It is important to do this as soon as possible to protect your business and avoid potential issues with infringement or plagiarism.

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Small business confidence is gradually increasing in Q3 2020 despite the pandemic.

The CNBC | SurveyMonkey Small Business Confidence Index Score was only 49 in Q2 2020, yet rose to 53 for Q3. This slight increase suggests small businesses have a long journey of recovery ahead due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The survey found that 36% of businesses judged current circumstances to be “good” in Q3, a notable rise from the 18% seen in Q2. This indicates there is hope both for existing and new companies.

Entrepreneurs forming LLCs should secure trademark protections for their distinct names, phrases, symbols, logos and designs. Registration of trademarks will help set startups on the path to success.

What makes trademarks so beneficial for businesses and what do you need to consider before registering one? Let’s delve into the worth of a trademark.

Trademarks symbolise your identity

Trademarks aid in the recognition of a business. Unique names, terms, logos, designs and icons created by them represent their products/services to consumers helping differentiate from rivals due to memorable trademarks.

Starting a small business can lead to confusion regarding trademarks and copyrights. Both are forms of intellectual property but copyright offers protection for original works such as literature, performing arts compositions/lyrics, virtual artworks/illustrations, photographs, motion pictures or architectural designs; whereas trademarking is not applicable here.

Trademarks nurture brand reputations

A trademark enables customers to distinguish and recognise your brand in a competitive market. As an example, the McDonald’s golden arches logo is instantly recognisable when seen from afar; it brings to mind their delicious burgers and fries.

Trademarks contribute to a company’s reputation and can influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. McDonald’s golden arches are an iconic example, linked with the fast-food chain; its menu is widely recognised across many countries, having served billions of customers worldwide.

Trademark owners have exclusive rights granted by registration

Without federal registration, another firm can take a business owner’s unregistered trademark. This is problematic as there’d be no legal argument for the mark being theirs and their original mark could be stolen from them.

Your trademark might be taken already; you could unknowingly plagiarise someone else’s mark which is either registered or in the process of registration.

Registering your