When people start a new company it can be surprising how many things there are to think about. There may be people to recruit and train, and products and services to put in place. The legal aspect can be a minefield too. Business owners frequently need to research things like employment law and litigation, patents and copyrights.
There’s also the subject of trademarks, whether it’s for small or large companies. Perhaps you are setting up a business, and want to understand more about trademarks and their importance. If this is true, read on.
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What It Is
Trademarks are all to do with branding, for instance, Nike, Google, Kleenex, Vodafone, or BMW. A product can be identified by a simple name or word, a slogan or symbol. Some products such as biros or hoovers are actually brand names, and professional services can be trademarked too.
The name of your company isn’t legally required to be trademarked, but it could help protect you from copycat companies. If you obtain a company trademark this will also help you with setting up your business accounts. It can also give you the right to operate in certain regions (at city, state, or national level).
If you are in need of some legal advice on trademarks, there is support available on specialist websites. You can read more about the costs of renewing Federal trademarks, and learn how to cancel them. There’s also professional help for monitoring and enforcement, and explanations about Declarations of Incontestability (Section 15).
It Can Speak For You
Trademarks act as an effective means of communication. They can help convey messages such as what your products are about or who they are for. People think of company reputation every time they hear a trademark. If you have new employees they will assume they are entering into all that it represents.
Language is no longer a barrier if you have a distinctive trademarked logo. No matter what country it appears in, people will understand the brand represented by the graphics. Trademarks are all about adding a recognizable identity. You are no longer selling trainers, but Nike trainers. Your car is not just a sports car, it’s a Porsche.
Your Goods And Services Become More Discoverable
It’s precisely this sense of identity that will help people find you on the internet. Instead of searching for carpet sweepers, they can type ‘hoover’ into the web browser.
Search Engine Optimisation tools can be used to take this up a level. When the right search words are included on your company website your Google ranking will improve, and more potential customers will be able to find you.
Trademarks Gain In Value
The more your business thrives, the greater the momentum it will have. If you’re respected and known in one field of sales, you can diversify into another. By using the same trademark for a totally new product, you can harness the same reputation from day one.
If you need external investment for your company to grow, your trademark can help you. Rather than pitching your business as an unknown, the potential investor may already have heard of you.
Registering And Staying Registered Isn’t Difficult
When you come up with a new product you’ll need to think of a name for it. Try to make it unique and distinctive, and use a marketing company if necessary. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) allows companies to make special searches. They are to ensure a proposed trademark is original and hasn’t already been registered by someone else.
Once you’ve completed a few forms you’ll need to submit them together with proof that the product is yours. Once you’ve paid the initial fee (and provided the trademark is registered) there is simply a renewal cost five and ten years later. Whilst the initial stage may take up to two years to complete, you’ll be protected from anyone else trying to register the same trademark once the process has begun.
Trademarks Provide Protection
Once your trademark is registered, it will become your intellectual property. Should another company launch a similar-looking brand or name, you can take them to court. This can protect you from someone else making profits from your hard work and infringing your trademark.
We have now seen a compelling list of reasons why a trademark is vital for any company. If a brand has been created it needs to flourish and not be stolen by another. The power it contains can help a business grow and become more established with every passing day.