5 Reasons Why You Should Trademark Your Business Name
There were over 400,000 copyright registration claims submitted in 2017. Trademarking your business is a vital part of protecting your brand. A trademark can represent your logo, slogan, or a unique design — anything that makes you stand out.
If you were the first to make a banana gun, for example, you would trademark everything surrounding it. The appearance of it, the name, the artwork, and any catchy phrases you may have. Trademarks are what represents a product or service ownership.
This differs from patenting, which we'll define later in this guide. Trademarks pave the way for truly transformative businesses.
Here are five compelling benefits of a trademark.1. Advertising Success
How do you stand out from a sea of competition if products or services are very similar?
A trademark says something that no sales pitch can. It's your identity, your personality, and how you express it. Most of all, the trademark is what allows you to leave your mark in people's minds.
Think of all the success stories out there of companies that have been able to define entire niches due to powerful branding. An Apple computer is just a computer, but it is associated with trademark style and simplicity. Coke is one of many soda companies, but there's only one Coca Cola.
It's possible to mimic the success of these two industry giants. It all starts with smart trademarks and patents. Brands are often imitated but never replicated, thanks to legal protections and public perception.
Generic "knock-offs" get frowned upon because most people recognize them for what they are: companies hijacking the hard work of others. Without a trademark, it's a war of words on who is an original and who is a fake.2. Security of a Trademark
Similar to how a patent protects the intellectual property of the design and functionality, trademarks protect all representations of your properties. What this means is that while you may have a unique product, if it isn't trademarked, it can appear elsewhere in different forms, artistically.
The difference between copyright trademark and patent comes down to ownership and mediums. Copyright protects literature and artistic works. Trademark is for branding said works and any products that have been patented. All of these protections are necessary for preventing the theft of ideas and brand.
There are a lot of companies out there that try to piggyback off of brands that are successful.3. Brand Longevity
How long can a brand stay relevant? For as long as there is a public interest.
Trademarks stay registered forever. A business could fail shortly after launching, yet relaunch with the same trademarked properties and not have to worry about losing them.
This is important because it reduces the number of recycled company ideas out there. Instead of innovating, some businesses would scavenge over what didn't work. They can still do this without trademarked ideas, but they would need to pour a lot of resources into reinventing them.
Hollywood is a good example of how trademarks get recycled, typically by the original creators. This results in some good and some bad reboots that play on our nostalgia.4. Famous by Name
Some companies are successful only due to their effective branding. Many only turn a profit off their trademarks alone. There are countless examples of startups selling big once their trademarks become valuable.
Some companies will sit on their patents and trademarks, waiting for a buyer. This is a risky bet because the interest will wane unless it is a vital property needed for technical progress. Having an established progression of success and profits is the best way to increase the value of trademarks.
A trademark's value may decrease, too, if it is associated with failure. The trademarked properties may contain a lot of great work. None of this matters if it cannot be removed from past controversies.Investing in Trademarking
Filing a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will cost between $225 and $325. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the potential cost of filing patents, such as a utility patent. There are a few factors involved with filing a trademark, though.
Your mileage may vary based on whether you hire a lawyer to do things correctly. For anyone not well-versed in the law, this is a prerequisite — unless you want to throw away your money from incomplete filings. Yes, you have to pay that filing fee each time you submit your trademark request.
Find yourself a good copyright lawyer and save yourself the time and money of filing alone. What they charge isn't a per-hour rate, rather a per-filing fee. This fee will get further divided into how many properties you need to trademark.
Copyright lawyers also charge for additional research and paperwork, if they are required. It's not uncommon to have to spend $1,000 for a single trademark through a lawyer. That may sound expensive, but you save a ton of valuable time.More Copyright Advice
As you can see, owning a trademark is akin to opening up a shop. You need it to stand out from all the rest, tell the customer who you are, and set the stage for future success. All businesses that plan on becoming hugely successful lucrative need to plan ahead.
Filing trademarks and registering patents protects you when you're crowded by a sea of competition. No one can drown you out with your own ideas — you have the competitive edge with a trademark. You can out-maneuver bigger entities if you know their secrets.
Learn more about these industry plays by subscribing to our Industry Insider column. Every day you'll learn tactics and industry trends to plan your next move. Cut through all the legal-speak and get to the bottom of winning business plans.
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