Importance of trademarks when developing a new business or invention

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Starting a new business involves dealing with many nuances, and compliance with laws and legal issues is critical to ensure that the company functions smoothly. As your lawyer will inform you, one of the most important facets you should manage is registering a trademark to secure your intellectual property (IP). The term IP does not just include books, musical compositions, designs, inventions, poetry, and other creative materials; it also encompasses logos, symbols, and signs that you might create to identify the company’s identity, products, and services.

Register and own your company’s identity

When incorporating the company and forming LLCs, you’ll develop a unique company name and design a logo or symbol that signifies the mission statement. Taglines and phrases are also created after extensive brainstorming sessions since they relay brand values. Once your business becomes an established name in the industry, customers will learn to rely on the logo as a symbol of the quality standards you maintain. In short, this is valuable Intellectual Property (IP) that ensures the long-term success of the enterprise. Understand the importance of trademarks, and make sure to apply as soon as you have finalized the details.

Trademarks help customers distinguish your brand

Taglines may change over time, but the logo, name, and brand endure through the company’s lifetime, assuring customers and building brand loyalty. Some great examples include the famous Golden Arches of the McDonald’s brand or the Apple’s apple with a bite missing, both of which are recognizable globally. Customers spotting your logo can instantly distinguish it from your competition even when they have products that closely match your offerings. Getting a registered trademark will ensure that these identifiers cannot be copied or imitated without incurring legal repercussions.

So, what can you trademark?

When you apply for trademark protection, you can safeguard all the distinguishing elements that set your brand apart from the competition. As the International Trademark Association explains, these elements can include a specific word, symbol, name, slogan or tagline, device, or a combination of these IPs.  You could also get the trademark to apply to colors, particular sounds, holograms, and even the packaging design. Keep in mind that this IP has real value, and as the company builds its brand reputation in the market, your trademark will acquire monetary value. When that happens, you’ll need legal protection to prevent competitors and imitators from mimicking your brand and selling products that are confusingly similar to your offerings.

Trademarks make your company identifiable

Familiarity builds trust–this is one rule of marketing that has been proven time and again. You’ll gain this trust by making sure your brand is visible, whether on social media pages, the internet, or shopping for groceries at the supermarket. When you organize giveaway advertising campaigns with different merchandise like t-shirts, hats, cups, stationery, and other items, you’ll use the logo and brand name to familiarize customers with the company, so they are inclined to choose your products every time they go shopping. Trademarks are especially important for luxury and high-value or high-ticket products such as cars and electronics like phones, TVs, and appliances that customers intend to purchase and use for an extended time.

Trademarks evoke an emotional response

Trademarks and brand logos are primarily about evoking an emotional response in customers’ minds and a memory of pleasurable experiences with your products. To go with the earlier example, spotting the Golden Arches, even from a distance, brings back memories of mouthwatering cheeseburgers and fries accompanied by tall glasses of chilled soda. Travelers in other countries can safely rely on food served at McDonald’s because it assures them of specific standards of the food they purchase and eat. The company’s reputation and the compelling, positive message about its food make it stand out and endure competing brands. That’s the kind of success you want for your new company.

Trademarking will help you avoid possible legal hassles

Getting your trademark registered at a federal level serves more than a single purpose. You’ll prevent competing companies from claiming it as their own–that’s a given. On the flip side, you’ll also ensure that you’re not infringing on an existing trademark that another company has already registered or is pending registration. Plagiarizing can put your new venture on the receiving end of costly legal battles that you absolutely want to avoid. Failing to get your trademark registered can result in damage to your company’s reputation and brand. Not to mention the loss of sales and revenue since customers can’t distinguish your products from similar brands.

Simply registering the company is not enough

Many entrepreneurs are under the mistaken impression that registering the company and domain name provides adequate legal protection. That’s not really true. You need to register the trademark to prevent third parties from using similar or look-alike names and logos. At the same time, you’ll avoid violating existing trademarks. Take care to maintain a robust and enforceable trademark portfolio. Watch for the possibility of conflicts arising from competitors and new startups infringing or diluting the value of your brand. Maintain your trademarks and domain names carefully and make sure to use them for commercial gains. Like your legal team will advise, you must also conduct regular audits to ensure the trademark’s integrity.

Your could monetize the trademark

As an entrepreneur investing in a new venture, you should also focus on its long-term growth and success. A robust trademark with an adequate market value could be a potential funding source when you’re pitching to banks and inventors. Trademarks can also be used as transferable assets that you can sell in the open market or license out to third parties for a profit. Banks may require a company name with trademark protection when you’re looking for loan products and financing.

Registering a trademark can prove to be highly beneficial for your new venture. Work with a team of legal consultants knowledgeable about the procedures and safeguard the identity and future success of your new company.

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