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Practical and legal benefits of trademark registration for your new business

By James Wan

What you need to know (in a nutshell)

  1. Trademarks act as deterrents and can stop potential infringers from using your brand name or logo.
  2. Obtaining a trademark registration offers legal protection from infringement and allows you to take action against infringers in court.
  3. Registering a trademark also allows you to enforce your rights without the need for a costly lawsuit, by contacting major Internet platforms such as Google, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which can remove infringing content much quicker than via a Court order.

Full Article

Practical and legal benefits are available by obtaining a trademark registration.

First reason to register a trademark: Deterrence.

Securing a trademark is beneficial for many reasons. Firstly, it’s an effective deterrent to would-be competitors who perform Google searches that could lead them to your competitors’ websites or social media instead of your own.

Competitors may perform trademark searches and discover your registered trademark. When your application or registration appears in the results, most people will usually realise somebody else has this trademark registered and take steps to avoid infringing it.

We can’t ignore the fact that a few people could still use your trademark even if you have registered it, but most likely its not usually large companies that face large reputational risk. That’s why many choose to pursue registration of their trademarks, because of the legal benefits.

Second reason to register a trademark: legal protection

Registering a trademark can provide infringement protection. If someone infringes upon your trademark, you may take them to court and enforce its protection nationally - although this is an expensive option. The registration itself usually provides enough of a deterrent for those who would infringe on your rights.

A few individuals may still intentionally infringe your trademark, but the incidence is likely to much lower than if you had not registered your trademark.

Third reason to register a trademark: lowering the cost of enforcement activity

Registering a trademark offers the advantage of enforcing your rights without costly litigation. For instance, owning a trademark allows you to file a complaint with companies like Google, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter if someone has set up pages that are identical to your registered trademark. An important benefit is such complaints take less time to prepare than compared to formal legal action.

These Internet platforms and social media sites understand this well. As the virtual marketplace grows and more e-commerce takes place, it is invaluable to halt any infringement quickly otherwise they may be perceived as encouraging IP infringing activity. Having contact with large corporations as a means of asking for their aid in removing infringements is essential because of how pervasive Internet use has become among businesses today. Unfortunately, if you do not have a registration there’s very little that can be done to help since they depend on the trademark registration system to obtain their assistance.

It is vital to file a trademark application quickly, as registration can take up to 8 months in certain countries. This will help guarantee your trademark has maximum protection and that you have the means needed for enforcement immediately when necessary.