by LawInc Staff
April 29, 2016
When you trademark your business name, you are investing in both your image and brand. Businesses spend thousands of dollars developing their brand and image so it is important to protect them as well. Your brand name is what sets you apart from other similar businesses in the industry. By not registering your trademark, you allow competitors to monopolizes on your hard work and pass their products as one of yours.
A trademark can be a phrase, symbol, word or words that distinguish your services or products from services or products of others. Simply put, a trademark for your business serves as a brand.
It is really important for business owners to trademark their business name to prevent others from using the exact or similar names. The trademark process is started by filing the name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Here are some of the reasons you should trademark your business name:
1. Obtain Protectable Legal Rights
A registered trademarks offers owners protection against subsequent registration of a “confusingly similar” mark by others. In addition, it provides notice of ownership nationwide and prevents others from claiming they adopted the mark in “good faith.”
When you trademark your business name, the registration serves as evidence of the mark’s’ validity and exclusivity of ownership. This helps both in a court proceeding against subsequent users of the mark, and as a deterrent to others. Convincing others to stop using the mark without ever stepping into a court room.
2. Trademarks Serve as a Marketing Tool
A trademark serves as a clear and exclusive label for your business’ products and services. Trademarks are brand identifiers. You and only you are able to make, produce, and or sell the goods or services with your label on it which ensures safety in the market.
Trademarks provide exclusive legal ownership in specific geographical regions, statewide and nationwide. If a subsequent business attempts to use your mark or a “confusingly similar” mark to create a counterfeit good, they will liable for legal recourse.
Furthermore, trademark registrants can record their trademark with the US Customs and Border Protection who will block the import of counterfeit goods infringing on your trademark. As a result, trademarks protect against counterfeits.
Because consumers purchase products and services based on the reputation of a brand, brand legitimacy is very important for marketing. A registered trademark will provide consumers with quality, safety and reassurance that what they see is what they get. This takes the fear out of shopping and allows business owners to market their products and services based on their good reputation.
3. Trademarks Protect Your Domain Name
Many disputes arise as to the ownership of domain names over the Internet. Cybersquatting occurs when a person other than the trademark holder registers the domain name of a trademark and attempts to profit, in bad faith, by either ransoming the domain name or using it to divert business away from the trademark holder.
By registering your trademark, you are entitled to either submit your complaint to the Uniform Dispute Resolution Procedure (UDRP), a committee of arbitrators that reviews disputes relations to domain name infringements, or the federal courts. Trademark arbitrators often find in favor of the registered trademark owners.
4. Trademarks Allow For Court Enforcement
When you trademark your business name, you significantly increase the likelihood of success in the courtroom. Trademark owners are given the legal presumption that they are the legal owners of the mark and the mark is valid.
Without the trademark, you would have to spend a lot of time and money to prove the mark is valid, you are the owner and that you have used the mark continuously in interstate commerce. If you are unable to show these things, your case will be dismissed.
Also, by showing a “willful trademark infringement” you will be able to recover additional remedies such as attorney fees.
For information on frequently asked questions about trademark registrations, click here.