A business, at a certain point in its growth and scaling, must not miss out on the opportunity to register at least one trademark.
Trademarks are visual marks – graphics, symbols, logos, phrases – that are used to identify your business’s brand and products. These are the things that make a brand unique and memorable in the eyes of a customer. Branding, properly executed, will make your audience forever associate the imagery of your company with the unique aspects of the products or services you offer.
At a certain point, you’ll want to identify certain branding elements of your company and products as trademarks. However, if it gets to a point where your brand is so memorable that a sneaky competitor is willing to copy it – and there will be – you’ll have no legal power to fight it. Registering the trademarks with a government body, like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, will allow you to fight it.
Aside from preventing theft, there are numerous benefits of submitting your intellectual property for federal registration. The benefits are so vast and so beneficial that no major corporation ignores this step. Granted, registering your intellectual property as a trademark can be somewhat challenging due to the process of verifying that it is truly unique; therefore, major corporations almost always rely on the services of a Lloyd & Mousilli intellectual property lawyer in Houston.
While the scale at which trademarks are used largely depends on the type of industry you’re in, when you feel you’re ready to register, you’ll at least want to start by registering your logo and name.
Profitability of Your Products and Services
You can register your company’s brand name as a trademark. You can register a slogan. You can register a logo. But best of all, you can register a unique name you give your product or service.
It’s a big deal to have a unique name, or series of names or phrases, that identify your products/services.
- FastPass is the name of a premium service by Disney that allows its theme park guests to skip lines.
- When you think of “Happy Meal,” what comes to mind? Why, yes – a kid’s meal at McDonald’s that always draws them in by coming packed-in with a small, exclusive toy.
The name of (or phrase related to) your product, service or proprietary system is the thing that instills the unique selling point of your product or service in the minds of your customers and prospects. Having these names gives you a strong marketing edge, as your products and services will be memorable – and when more people remember, your percentage of repeat customers goes up.
Registering those names will only bolster those characteristics of your business, and it will protect you very well in the event a competitor tries to offer a similarly named product or service – especially one that, if it becomes popular enough, could potentially divert revenues away from you. Be watchful day-in and day-out for any sort of trademark infringement. You must consult with a lawyer at the very first sign and use their help to stop the competitor; otherwise, late action could even attempt in your competitor attempting to register the trademark.
Registering and maintaining control over your trademarks isn’t merely a passive asset. It can even be another direct source of revenue. If you want people and companies to spread the word about you with your permission, you can charge them money to use your trademarks under a licensing agreement.
The more places they use your trademarks in a matter which enhances your business and brand recognition, the more you get paid for licensing fees; ultimately, the marketing efforts from these other companies and people could even snowball into attracting more customers to your existing products and services; creating even more revenue.
Trademark approval criteria
Usually, the USPTO denies trademark applications on the grounds of “likelihood of confusion.” There is no exact mathematical formula or set of criteria for approval or denial; generally, USPTO rejects the application if it believes the trademark is similar enough to an existing registered trademark, that potential customers are highly likely to confuse someone else’s trademark with yours.
To avoid the risk of rejection, if you’re struggling to search for any similar registered trademarks, the best thing to do is to seek the advice of a trademark lawyer near Houston. Trademark lawyers have expertise in filing trademark applications, and they have more than sufficient judgment and dedication to determine if it is worth applying for trademark registration, or if you need to go back to the drawing board and create something unique that identifies you from the competition.