What is a trademark?
A trademark identifies the brand owner of a particular product or service. The owner of a trademark may pursue legal action against trademark infringement. Most countries require formal registration of a trademark as a precondition for pursuing this type of action. The United States, Canada and other countries also recognize common law trademark rights, which means action can be taken to protect an unregistered trademark if it is in use. Still common law trademarks offer the holder in general less legal protection than registered trademarks. A trademark is typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standard categories, such as those based on color, smell, or sound.
Why apply for trademark registration?
- Trademarks are an effective communication tool. In a single brand or logo, trademarks can convey intellectual and emotional attributes and messages about you, your company, and your company’s reputation, products and services.
- Trademarks make it easy for customers to find you. The marketplace is crowded and it’s hard to distinguish your business from your competitors. Trademarks/brands are an efficient commercial communication tool to capture customer attention and make your business, products and services stand out.
- Trademarks allow businesses to effectively utilize the Internet and social media. Your brand is the first thing customers enter into a search engine or social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) when looking for your products and services. Higher traffic on a website or social media platform translates into higher rankings, bringing even more traffic, more customers and more brand recognition.
- Trademarks are a valuable asset. Trademarks can appreciate in value over time. The more your business reputation grows, the more valuable your brand will be. Trademarks provide value beyond your core business. Trademarks can lead the way for expansion from one industry to another, such as from personal care to clothing or eye ware. If you desire it, your trademark can lead to the acquisition of your business by a larger corporation.
- Trademarks can make hiring easier. Brands can inspire positive feelings in people’s minds. As a result, employment opportunities are more attractive to candidates. Employee retention can be higher if employees have positive feelings for the brand and the products and services offered.