Top 3 Reasons for Registering your Brand’s Trademark
In a previous post, we shared tips on HOW to protect your brand and this time we address WHY it’s important to do so. While I’m naturally an optimistic person, my job is to lookout for risks and advise businesses on what guardrails to put up to avoid them. This month we dive in to the top 3 reasons businesses need a registered trademark.
1. Presumption of Ownership – what’s mine is mine.A registered trademark lays out who the owner of that mark is. This is particularly beneficial if you ever have to go to court over a trademark dispute. With a registered trademark, you don’t have to prove to the judge that you own the mark because you already proved it during the trademark application process. Having one less thing to prove allows you (or your fabulous attorney) to stroll in to court with your registration and the judge will presume that you’re the rightful owner. This is like having the home-court advantage during a lawsuit.
2. Exclusivity – you can’t touch this.The most value in a registered trademark is having the exclusive right to use it. You and only you will have complete control over your mark’s reputation and brand messaging. That’s a pretty powerful tool in the marketplace! You get to prevent others from using your mark without your permission.
3. More Money – to gain or to loose.Registered trademark owners get to charge for giving others permission to use their mark. You can use a registered trademark to open up different revenue streams. I’m talking distribution, merchandizing, franchising and licensingwhich is a way to make a return on your investment in your brand. On the one hand, your registered mark can generate income; while an unregisteredmark can actually cost you a lot of money if you fail to protect your brand. For example, if someone copies your mark and registers it before you do, they could potentially prevent you from using your own mark. Which means that you’re going to shell out loads of cash duking it out in court for years with no guarantee that you’ll be able to get your mark back because it was registered by someone else who is the presumed owner. Even if you decide not to fight in court, you’re going to spend a lot of money re-branding, re-printing and re-marketing the business that just got pulled out from under you.
Final Thoughts. Everything in business has a cost, whether it’s money, time or your sanity. Registering a trademark is not quick or cheap, but you have to weigh the cost of registering a trademark compared to notregistering your mark and potentially losing all of your rights in your brand and closing down the business you built around it. Not only could it cost you money, but it’s costing you the opportunity to generate passive income for letting others use your registered trademark. Be proactive, protect what’s yours and make more money off of it!