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9 Reasons to Register Your Trademark

From getting local protections offered by States to identifying as a reputable brand, here are the 9 answers to the question, "Why should a business register for a brand trademark?"

  • Local Protection May Be Offered by States

  • Prevent Competitors from Using a Similar Name

  • Trademarks Never Expire

  • Increase Your Valuation

  • Stand Out from the Competition

  • Use as a Tool for Communication

  • To Ensure You Have Rights to Your Brand

  • Helps Attract and Retain Employees

  • Identify as a Reputable Brand

Local Protection May Be Offered by States

All businesses should register their brand name on the state level as a trade name and/or trademark (if your state offers this service). State trade names and marks are often very cost-effective and will offer at least local protection for your brand.

Most, but not all, businesses should also obtain a federal trademark through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which provides your brand protection in every US market. A federal mark is the most powerful, but also the most expensive.

While you can file a federal trademark without legal counsel, most people do not correctly search the USPTO’s database of existing marks resulting in a bad application and a loss of time and money or outright denial of the mark.

Prevent Competitors from Using a Similar Name

A business should register for a brand trademark to prevent competitors from using a similar name or branding. This can cause customer confusion and ultimately cost the business market share. A business can file for a federal trademark by working with the USPTO. The process is relatively simple and does not require a lawyer, although it is recommended to consult with one.

Trademarks Never Expire

One simple reason a business should always register its trademark is that it never expires once they have it. Pabst Blue Ribbon is one such company that has a trademark over 100 years old. Once the process is complete, there are never any renewals to worry about. The business has the trademark and always has the option to sell it whenever they want to.

Kevin Callahan, Co-Founder & CEO, Flatline Van Co.

Increase Your Valuation

Most people recognize that trademarks, copyrights, and other legal ways to protect intellectual property (IP) are useful in securing your rights. But what is often overlooked is the way that IP rights can increase the valuation of your company. This is useful when you want to seek investor capital or sell your company.

In the case of a brand trademark, it shows the investor that you own the right to use the name. This means that they are less likely to face any unexpected lawsuits, and that their property has an added measure of protection. Additionally, it signals to investors that you have done some due diligence and that you took measures to protect the brand's value, which may be reflected in other areas of the company.

Dennis Consorte, Digital Marketing & Leadership Consultant for Startups, Snackable Solutions

Stand Out from the Competition

When you register for a trademark, you're taking an essential step toward building brand recognition for your company. By protecting your brand's name and identifying elements, you'll create a robust and recognizable identity for your business that will stick in consumers' minds long after they've seen your product or service. Trademarks help you stand out from the competition. In any given industry, there are bound to be dozens or even hundreds of companies competing for market share. So how do you ensure that consumers remember your brand instead of your competitors'? One way is through solid branding and trademark protection. By registering for a trademark, you'll be able to tell your competitors that you're serious about protecting your brand. This helps you stand out from the competition and discourages other companies from trying to piggyback on your success by using similar branding elements.

Use as a Tool for Communication

A trademark is the soul of your business brand. It holds the identity of your enterprise and provides an undeniably strong marketing potential. Trademarks are an effective tool of communication. You can convey messages through your trademark without much curating.

Trademarks help your clients find you in a saturated market due to its uniqueness. They make the business stand out from the rest without much fuss. Just like an asset, the value of your trademark appreciates; this gives your business a chance to use it as an advertising tool for other companies. Trademarks help you build trusted relationships with clients and the world of financiers.

To Ensure You Have Rights to Your Brand

To protect your brand identity. When you don't have a trademark, competitors can register for one and take yours from you, forcing you to rebrand your business. They can also get superior rights to your own and potentially charge you with infringement.

Part of protecting your brand identity involves ensuring you have rights; and without a brand trademark, yours will be limited. You may only have them in the geographic area where you operate, if that. Registering a trademark helps protect your brand from that.

Brian Munce, Managing Director, Gestalt Brand Lab

Helps Attract and Retain Employees

Having a trademark for your business shows your employees that you are dedicated to the growth and are in it for the long haul. Thus, as you continue your business with your trademark, it’s important that you have a positive reputation as it gets people to want to work with you and stay with your business. This will allow your business to grow even more as you get to onboard more talent to your team. As a result, having a trademark is a valuable asset for your business if you intend to grow and keep your top talent within your company.

Identify as a Reputable Brand

Trademarking your business protects and empowers it as a brand. It will be the thing that customers or clients recognize when doing business with you. That uniquely individual aspect that becomes the face of your brand is something you want to protect and nurture.

For many customers and other business entities, being a trademarked brand adds an air of legitimacy to your business as well, which may make it more comfortable for them to do business with you. People in general have greater trust in a known entity. Your trademark is part of what identifies you as reputable at a glance.

While there’s no guarantee that having a Trademark will bring business to your door, it won't hurt your prospects in the slightest. In the eyes of the public, it's simply better to have a trademark for your business than not.