Myth no. 1 – Once you register a trademark you own it forever and for everything
Myth no. 2 – Registering a domain name offers all sorts of legal protection
Myth no. 3 – You can save money if you conduct the search yourselves.
Trademark Tip – Top 5 Reasons to Register Your Brand Name or Logo.
There a myriad reasons to protect your trademark, brand name, logo or slogan through federal trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Here are just a few of the top reasons why you should seek federal protection for your mark:
1. Trademarks are a part of your company’s intellectual property portfolio. It could very well be one of your most valuable business assets, albeit an intangible one. Trademarks can be accorded a value separate and distinct from other assets in your company. To illustrate, the Coca-Cola® trademark alone is purportedly valued at $70 billion. This doesn’t include other assets such as trucks, manufacturing and bottling facilities, etc., just the Coke® brand. The value of a registered trademark may be listed as a line item asset for companies seeking to attract potential investors or obtain financing.
2. A federally registered trademark grants you nationwide priority claim of ownership to the mark. A registered trademark provides constructive notice to prospective users and potential infringers of your claim of ownership to the mark. In the event of a dispute concerning rights to use a particular mark, the registered trademark owner will have the benefit of the doubt vis-à-vis a non-registered user of the same mark for similar or related products.
3. In the event of any unauthorized use or potential infringement of a registered trademark, the trademark owner is entitled to seek redress in federal court. The registered trademark owner can bring suit in federal court for trademark infringement and prohibit the alleged infringing mark from being used in commerce in a manner that causes confusion with the registered trademark. Moreover, trademark owners may seek three times their actual damages suffered as a result of the infringement (triple damages).
4. If you are interested in obtaining international trademark protection for your brand, you will need to first have a registered or pending application filed with the USPTO. A federally registered trademark is the basis for U.S. trademark owners to seek international trademark registration. Upon filing your application, the USPTO assigns your mark a serial number (or a registration number, once registered). This number is used to submit an international trademark application under the Madrid Protocol System for International Trademark Registration.
5. Registered trademarks may be filed with the U.S. Customs Service to prohibit the importation of infringing foreign goods that may bear your mark or something similar (“knock-offs”). Many illegal imports attempt to trade off the established brand value of famous or well-known marks. Trademark registrations may be placed on record with the Customs Service so infringing products entering the country may be flagged, seized and possibly destroyed.
So there you have it, the Top Five reasons to protect your brand name or logo through federal trademark registration. There are other reasons, of course, including protecting your brand value and hard earned marketing dollars. For more information concerning trademark law, the trademark registration process, or for questions concerning your particular mark or brand, please contact one of our FlatFee Trademark attorneys at 1.800.769.7790 or [email protected] .