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What will a trademark do for my company?

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Trademark registration - legal and branding advantages.

Give you an exclusive right to a brand name. Owning a trademark registration in your brand will allow you to exclude any business from using a brand that is similar to yours in the same industry. This exclusivity gives you, the brand owners, strong legal recourse in stopping the lost sales you may suffer if another company is founded with the same, or even similar, name. One misconception a lot of business owners have is that a trademark is required before they can begin selling products or services. This is untrue because a trademark registration is more about giving the owner legal protection, and not about satisfying a legal requirement. However, a trademark registration is very useful for any business selling products and services with a brand.

Provides a legal “notice” to the public of your brand. The law provides that a trademark registration is “constructive notice” of the existence of a brand. This means that any company which uses a similar brand for a similar industry after you applied and registered your trademark cannot claim that they didn’t know about your brand.

Allows you to bring a lawsuit in Federal Court. Because a trademark right is a federal legal right, you will then have the opportunity to bring a trademark lawsuit in Federal Court. This is advantageous because Federal Court judges often have far more experience and resources available to them than state court judges when it comes to trademark infringement.

Strengthens your position in a trademark conflict. Trademark registration gives the brand owner a “legal presumption” of ownership of the trademark. This means in any trademark lawsuit, the court will presume that you own the right to your brand and that your opponent would have to prove that you do not in fact own the brand. Because this can mean high legal costs for an opponent, the “legal presumption” of ownership gives a trademark holder a strong negotiating position.

A trademark does NOT give you permission to sell a product or service. That is because the purpose of a trademark has nothing to do with giving a business owner permission to sell a good or service. There are unfortunately many business owners who have applied for a trademark on the mistaken belief that registering their company or product name for a list of goods/services was necessary before they could do business. I’m not sure where this belief comes from, but it is completely wrong. Trademarks are primarily concerned with protecting brand names and the effort put into them.

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