Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
What do you think when you see the Nike logo? Hard work. Perseverance. Determination.
What about Coca-Cola? Happiness. Acceptance. Diversity.
Apple? Ingenuity. Modernity. Forward-thinking.
In a single brand or logo—in a single glance…these companies convey an intellectual and emotional message to the world.
This is made possible through Trademarks. But what exactly is a trademark and why is it such a powerful too?
That’s what we’ll be discussing in today’s post. Enjoy!
Table of contents
What is a Trademark?
At its most basic level, a trademark is a type of intellectual property. It consists of an easily recognizable sign, design, or expression which works to distinguish one brand’s products or services from those of others.
When a person claims the rights to a particular mark, he or she is allowed to use “TM” (for a trademark) and/or “SM” (for a service mark) to prove that the mark is trademarked. The symbol “®” can only be used after the mark is registered, not while an application is pending. Additionally, the ® symbol may only be used with goods and/or services that were listed in the federal trademark application.
In a nutshell, trademarks serve to identify a particular entity as the source of goods or services. The use of a trademark in this way is known as trademark use and certain exclusive rights are attached to a registered mark.
For the sake of brand identity, trademarks are often displayed on company buildings. This legally stamps it as a type of intellectual property and protects the identity and reputation associated with a brand name.
The unauthorized usage of trademarks by producing and trading counterfeit consumer goods is known as brand piracy and the owner of a trademark may (and should) pursue legal action against trademark infringement.
Trademark Owners and Styles
Individuals can be trademark owners as well as a business, an organization, or any legal entity. They can also be located anywhere… on a package, a label or on the actual product itself. Typically a trademark is a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, but it you don’t have to limit yourself to those things.
You can go with something non-traditional like those based on color, smell, or sound (think of well-known commercial jingles). But, while trademark styles are flexible, if your design is considered offensive, it can be rejected in accordance with U.S. trademark laws.
What makes a Trademark so Effective?
The power of trademarking lies in its ability to be both a communication and branding tool, speaking for your company even when you’re silent.
That’s why when you see the Nike logo on a shirt or a pair or pants, you don’t need to know anything else about the product. You instantly trust the product. This dual ability of the trademark is valuable for a few reasons:
Trademarks make it easy for customers to find you.
It’s not easy to get noticed in such a crowded marketplace. That’s why trademarks are such amazing tools! They cut through the noise and clutter, making it easy for people to find you.
Trademarks never expire in the U.S.
Matter of fact, some of the most recognized brands in today have been around for over a hundred years. Mercedes was first registered in 1900. Pepsi-Cola was registered in 1896.
Trademarks can appreciate in value over time.
The better your business’s reputation, the more valuable your brand will be. This can lead the way for expansion from one industry to another. And like real estate, trademarks are a property asset that can be bought, sold, licensed (like renting or leasing) or used as a security interest to secure a loan to grow your business. A great example of this is when the Lego Group purchased a license from Lucasfilm in order to be allowed to launch Lego Star Wars.
Trademarks make it easier to hire and retain employees.
Brands like Coca-Cola, Apple and others inspire positive feelings in people’s minds. The result? Employment opportunities become more attractive to candidates. Not only that, employee retention can also becomes higher. That’s because employees want to feel proud of where they work…that the product or service their company sells is well-loved and well-respected by the community.
Make Your Mark Today
At Inc Authority we realize the tremendous value of trademarking, which is why we offer it as one of our premium services.
Our Federal Trademark service includes:
- Comprehensive U.S. Search
- 24 Hour Expedited E-Filing
- Trademark Specialist
- Government Filing Fee
- Lifetime Customer Support
So… if you want your business to be counted among the greats, leave your mark with a Trademark.
Incorporating is the most powerful thing you can do to legitimize your startup. And at IncAuthority.com, our setup LLC services are 100% free. Always. So, don’t wait. Form your new LLC today and enjoy the protection due to you and your business under the law.