A trademark is a word, symbol, design, or any combination of those associated with a service or product. It is not limited only to visual designs, as trademarks can be registered for words or anything that can distinguish a product or service and represent a company.
Trademarks serve as an asset to a business’s brand, acting as a type of intellectual property. They aid in building a company’s reputation, brand awareness, and bolster its place in the market, which means they can help grow your company and boost your revenue in the long run.
As such, registering a trademark could be the next step for your business’s success. The simplest way to register is on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website at Uspto.gov.
Before completing the online registration form, check the site’s Trademark Electronic Search System (“TESS”) database to make sure that another company hasn’t already registered an identical or similar mark for the same categories of goods or services you offer.
Once registered, your trademark can bring tremendous benefits to you and your business.
Benefits of Trademark Registration
Here are some of the numerous benefits that a trademark registration can bring:
1. Exclusive ownership of the mark
Foremost, trademark registration provides you and your business the ownership of the mark. The ownership gives the owner the ability to assign and license the mark. This allows you to safely let other distributors distribute your product or service with terms that you and your intellectual property (IP) lawyer decide.
Additionally, ownership of the mark gives your company the exclusive rights to operate under that trademark. Where necessary, you can also hire a trademark lawyer to provide valuable legal advice regarding the registration claim if needed.
For example, a Toronto trademark lawyer will ensure your trademark is accepted in the country, and also aid you in the processes leading up to the registration, such as searching trademarks and ensuring you pick the right trademark.
2. Public recognition of the ownership
Trademark registration can be an essential step to building your brand awareness as it brings public recognition to the ownership.
After your trademark registration, it is recorded into a public database. This prevents competitors and other companies from filing a trademark that is similar to yours.
Additionally, it allows you and your trademark lawyer to defend against different forms of trademark infringement. The public recognition of ownership can be vital in securing your business.
Moreover, the trademark itself can become an asset as evidenced by companies such as Apple, Facebook, and McDonald's. Specifically, trademark registration is paramount in expanding your business internationally outside your geographical area.
Also, public recognition can be a great asset in acquiring a domain name on the internet. Simmilarly, a trademark lawyer can be of great assistance during this process, too.
3. Nationwide protection for 10 years
Trademark registration provides nationwide protection for 10 years, which can be renewed indefinitely. The protection also allows you and your trademark or IP lawyer to take legal action against different forms of trademark infringement.
Additionally, a trademark registration diminishes the burden of proof if there is a trademark infringement in your claim. It grants additional protection such as presumed ownership.
Trademark registration increases the scope of protection as the protection is applicable nationwide, whereas an unregistered trademark can only be protected in a limited area. This would also require you and your lawyer to prove ownership as well as enforcing your rights to the mark.
Furthermore, this protection also prevents counterfeit products from different countries making their way into the market. Therefore, it is paramount that you register your trademark.
4. Assert your right in other countries
The move to register your trademark can also be an asset when it comes to expanding your business to different countries. If you have not entered the market in a country such as Canada or the U.K, having a registered trademark can be of great benefit to your business.
For example, if you have a registered trademark in Canada, you can file a trademark claim without needing to submit evidence you have used the mark in the United States.
However, that is only the case in a few countries.
Trademarks and patents are generally territorial and must be filed in each country where protection is sought. A U.S. patent or trademark does not afford protection in another country, but it will afford you full, legal protecting across the US.
So, if you're expanding your business to different countries, it’s advisable to procure legal advice from a trademark lawyer in your target country. You and your trademark lawyer can then proceed with the steps necessary to expand and avoid any trademark infringement in other countries.
Overall, having a registered trademark is extremely beneficial to grow your business and even expand internationally. Contact a trademark lawyer as needed to successfully register your trademark.