Startup founders and entrepreneurs usually take time and even spend considerable sums to create an excellent business name and symbol. A business name and logo are essential to every business, since this is what a customer first comes across.
The symbol represents the company’s goodwill and shows that the business’ services and goods are of quality. A business trademark is among the most beneficial assets a company can own. Unfortunately, many companies usually overlook the significance of protecting their intellectual property.
You can protect your business’ intellectual property (including symbols, business names, logos, and even slogans) by applying for a trademark with the USPTO. As a way of helping startups and small business owners, below are some reasons why a business trademark is important.
- Trademark prevents litigation, which could lead to financial loss
With an approved trademark, you can avoid financial loss. After all, the threat of legal action can result in damages.
To prevent this from happening, when you come up with a business name and logo in a city like Atlanta, consider looking for a trademark attorney Atlanta GA has to offer. This attorney can perform an in-depth search to ensure that your business idea doesn’t already exist and is legally valid.
Attorneys can suggest making changes to the trademarked term to prevent nearly identical business identities (logo or business name) that could result in a lawsuit.
- They have immediate value
In business, there are several assets whose values grow with the business and also have immediate value. Brand value also increases when a company or startup experiences growth.
A business uses trademarks for product packaging, advertisement, and everyday dealings with consumers. Consumers see trademarks and can link them to a specific business. This is why it can be very detrimental for consumers to confuse a trademark with a different company.
In fact, you can buy, sell, license, or even use your business trademark as a security to get business loans. A small business must have a registered trademark when it intends to raise funds, merge, or sell itself.
Take, for instance, the popular drink Pepsi. The logo started from an idea, but now, it’s an asset worth billions. Without trademark protection, imitations with the same logo would crop up, confusing customers and negatively affecting business. In cases like McDonald’s, they not only have their business, but also perform trademark licensing and earn money from it.
- Trademarks provide geographic advantages
A significant issue that affects a business trademark is when the identity (including the name and logo) is restricted to a particular geographic location. Most startups are protected in their area of operation, but might later discover that they can’t expand due to their trademark.
Therefore, when creating trademarks, you must consider future expansion. Without doing so, you could find yourself in a difficult position regarding marketing.
Let’s use Burger King as an example. Because of geographical limitations, they were prevented from using the name during their expansion into Australia due to a trademark previously filed. Despite the sum of money they had available for growth, they couldn’t use the very name they had built over the years back in the U.S., so they had to look for an alternative.
- A trademark is eternal
When a trademark has been filed once, it becomes permanent. There’s only the need for periodic renewal, allowing companies to remain in their domain for years.
It then becomes crucial for startups to conduct a proper trademark search. This ensures that they won’t be denied their application. Startups should use the services of professional and experienced intellectual property attorneys to help them with their business trademarks.
- It creates a stimulus for bringing in new employees
Every startup must protect its reputation positively, and that usually entails having a trademark. Employees are necessary for every startup, especially when they want to grow. A startup with a good reputation attracts people to businesses, which is crucial when there’s an intent to expand into new areas. Having an established brand will make hiring employees easier.
- It gives startups the feeling of autonomy
Markets that are highly saturated can be very competitive, so being a small fish in the ocean can be quite hard.
A trademark helps in this respect, functioning as a pillar that supports the company after its establishment. When you trademark your brand, you create something that will cushion your startup from the blows of a highly competitive market.
- It shows seriousness
A trademark can give a business confidence and legitimacy. Getting a trademark for your business shows that you have confidence in your startup’s success and that it’s worth something. Valuable aspects of the business are protected, showing potential investors and competitors that your business is to be taken seriously.
All startups have a name and represent a brand. However, this doesn’t mean they have an official trademark. Trademarks need to be approved by the USPTO for legal protection.
It’s of utmost importance that you speak with an attorney during the early stages of your business to protect your intellectual property. This prevents a loss in investment in money and time.