7 Important Benefits of Trademark Registration
posted by: Katie Charleston Law, P.C.
You might have heard that it’s unnecessary to register your trademark. If a trademark is used in commerce in a specific region, you do automatically have some trademark rights, after all. That’s assuming no one else used the same or a very similar trademark first and that you can prove your case.
However, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office correctly notes that these common law rights are limited. They don’t offer you full protection in the case of business litigation. Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of more official trademark registrations.
Trademark Registration Lowers Your Burden of Proof
If you rely on common law rights and the fact that you’ve used a trademark for a certain period of time, for a certain purpose, and in a certain geographical region for business protection, your burden of proof can be high. When someone else infringes on what you believe to be your common law trademark rights and you want to take action against them, you have to prove all those factors.
In contrast, if you have a federal or state trademark registration on file, there is a presumption of ownership. You may still need to make a case that your trademark rights were infringed, but you don’t have to start that case by proving the trademark is yours to begin with.
Trademark Registration Forces You to Conduct Due Diligence
Of course, the tables can certainly flip. What if you’re the newer business on the block and you want to use a trademark? How do you know that someone else isn’t already using it? You could put your business at risk for a trademark lawsuit if you don’t do your due diligence.
Luckily, that due diligence is baked into the trademark registration process. When you register a trademark, you have to search the trademark database and ensure that your new trademark doesn’t infringe upon any other trademarks already in existence. Ultimately, this step can provide a certain peace of mind for your business and brand as it moves forward.
Trademarks Can Increase Trust in Your Brand or Product
When you have a registered trademark, you can use the trademark symbol. This is a recognized symbol that offers some level of legitimacy for products and brands in the public eye. That trust can help you grow your business, build customer loyalty, or ease customer cynicism about trying new goods or services.
Trademarks Support Brand Recognition
When you register a trademark and use it consistently, you can also support better brand awareness. When consumers can associate your brand or products with a specific trademark, including a logo or tagline, they become more aware of encounters with your brand.
Think about some of the most recognizable brands in the world: Apple, Google, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Toyota, McDonalds, and Mercedes-Benz.
Chances are, just reading the name of each of those brands invokes an image or concept in your mind. The apple with the bite out of it, the multi-colored G, and the infamous script on a specific red background are examples of trademarks that enhance brand recognition. These are elements that are synonymous with each brand, and they all start with the power of a trademark.
Federal Trademarks Create a Launch Point for Foreign Trademark Filing
If you go through the process of registering a federal trademark in the United States, you create a path forward that allows you to file foreign trademarks. For businesses that plan to eventually expand into global markets, this can be an important early step.
Trademarks Can Increase the Value of Your Business
Trademarks are a form of intellectual property, which means they come with a value of their own. The goodwill that the trademark and branding have — the positive affinity they evoke with consumers — can play a big role in business valuation. For example, Coca-Cola’s brand value was a whopping $97.88 billion in 2022, and a good portion of that value comes from the strength of the trademarks.
By protecting your business trademarks via formal registration, you protect potential intellectual property assets. Those assets may help increase the value of your business, which can help you sell it for more or leverage it for funding in the future.
A Federal Trademark Provides the Right to File a Federal Lawsuit in a Trademark Matter
Did you know that you can’t file a federal trademark lawsuit if you don’t have a federal trademark registered? You might have some other legal options to protect your business and brand, but they can be limited if you haven’t registered the trademark.
Get Help With Your Trademark Issues Today
You can also register trademarks at the state level. A trademark attorney can help you understand your options, which trademark registrations you might qualify for, and how best to protect your business interests. They can also help you with the tedious task of registering your trademark with the relevant authority.
If you want to protect your business by registering a trademark, we can help. Our law office can also assist you if you are facing trademark litigation. To find out more about our services and how we can help you protect and grow your business, reach out to Katie Charleston Law, PC, by calling 317-663-9190 today. Our team can set up an appointment to find out more about your needs and provide you with some options for our services.