A trademark is as a sign used to distinguish the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.
Most often, trademarks can be company names and logos. For example, trademarks are the famous Apple Inc. apple symbol and the Google name. Other types of distinctive signs can also serve as trademarks, but such examples are relatively rare. Think the famous Coca-Cola bottle shape, which has been a registered trademark since 1961.
Trademark vs brand
Trademarks should not be confused with brands. Although some use these terms interchangeably in everyday life, they denote different things. Brand is a fairly broad term that is traditionally used in the advertising industry and is commonly understood to mean a set of elements of a company's identity. Meanwhile, it is important to recognize that a trademark is a type of intellectual property and simultaneously a financial asset, which, one might say, provides legal protection for the brand.
What are the benefits of trademark registration?
Contrary to popular belief, trademarks do not necessarily have to be registered in order to be used in business. Unregistered marks may also be used. Why, then, should we talk about trademark registration at all? There are a number of important reasons for this.
Trademark registration confers on the proprietor of a trademark the exclusive rights to prohibit third parties from using signs in the course of trade that may result in the likelihood of confusion on the part of the public or the use of which could otherwise damage the respective trademark. Thus, the proprietor of a registered trademark usually enjoys broader legal protection than the proprietor of an unregistered mark.
Trademark registration can be considered a long-term investment in the future growth of the company. In the early stages of business, rarely does anyone think about the need to protect a trademark. However, as the business grows, the issue inevitably becomes pressing. If a trademark is not registered in time, it may happen that the company will experience difficulties attracting investments, and, in the eyes of investors, its value may decrease significantly, especially if a third party suddenly tries to claim the rights to use a given sign.
Without the registration of a trademark, commercializing this asset may be problematic. Unlike unregistered trademarks, registered marks can be easily sold or licensed. In this way, they generate additional income and facilitate corporate restructuring.
It is important to bear in mind that for a sign to become a protected trademark, it must be able to identify the origin of goods or services in the eyes of consumers. Obtaining and properly protecting the trademark rights, in turn, is crucial for the successful growth and development of your company.