Most business owners understand the basic concept of how trademarks work. Most business owners also understand the importance of registering their company name, brands and identifiable logos with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. By having a registered trademark, a company will have legal rights to their markings and logos. If any other company ever tried to use these trademarked names or logos, they would be guilty of trademark infringement and can have legal action brought up against them.
According to Dozmia, “Trademarks protect a distinctive word, phrase, symbol, or design used to distinctively identify a product or service. So, trademarks identify your brand, and you can protect your logo or name by acquiring the associated trademark rights.”. The first thing that most companies think about protecting is their wording. This will usually be the company name and any brand names the company uses. When registering a company name or a brand, it is known as a standard character mark. This means that the name will be protected and that no other company would be able to use it, but it must be remembered that no special fonts, colors or any other style is protected.
Protecting Other Assets
If a company is interested in protecting more than just their names, they may want to consider registering their company logo. It will require a separate filing from the standard character mark filing, but it may be well worth it. A company logo identifies a company and distinguishes their merchandise from competitors that may sell similar products. Originating from 12th Century heraldic Coats of Arms, according to Arty Factory, modern logos representing powerful brands are seen and are immediately recognizable by their customers. We have all heard the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is definitely true when it comes to a company logo. When loyal customers see a particular logo on a product or its packaging, they will immediately know that the product is from a company that they trust.
Many companies start out putting their logo on their products or packaging without registering a trademark. This is fine and is to be expected from most new companies, but there will come a time when registering a trademark will be very useful. In the United States, there is what it known as common law trademark rights. This means that if a company has been commercially using a certain name or logo, even if not registered, they hold certain rights to their marks. This may sound great to some, but the problem with that is that a company does not have the full legal rights and the protection that comes from owning a registered trademark. If another company were to infringe, names and logos that are unregistered with the USPTO would be more difficult to protect and enforce than those that are registered.
The Value of a Brand
When you trademark your logo, you will have attained a valuable asset that offers your company protection. Customers will always recognize your brand when they see your products. Another thing to remember is that in this day of age, many searches done online are searched for by brand name. When people do searches, they will not only see the brand name displayed, but they are also likely to see your company’s logo displayed too.
Trademarking a logo can take up to a year to be reviewed and accepted by the USPTO, and the filing fee will be hundreds of dollars. Ultimately, it will be a company decision to decide if it is worth registering and trademarking their logo. For most companies, it is well worth it, but for some, there may be reasons why there is no need to trademark their logo.
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