Though registration of one’s trademark is an optional exercise, it is nevertheless highly recommended, owing to several advantages that come with a registration of the trademark or trademark protection.
Some of these advantages are :
Using trademarks as effective communication tool
A trademark is used for distinguishing the goods and services of one person from that of another. It essentially identifies the source of the service or product and helps the organization build an association in the minds of the consumer with regards to the quality and characteristics of the goods or services.
Trademarks are used in many instances by the organization which includes the use in an advertisement as well as digital space. Thus, the chances of the trademark rights being violated increases in such a situation.
Today’s marketplace is crowded. Having a distinct registered trademark helps the consumers to find out the products and services easily and increases the revenue of the organization. Further, if the renewal fee is paid on time, trademarks never expire and thus a brand name is created which may survive centuries.
Extending the scope of protection of the trademark
The proprietors of the business often think that registration of the company or acquiring a domain name prevents competitors from using the same name. Though some form of remedy is available, but not registering the trademark can turn out to be a costly affair for the organization.
Registration of trademark serves a notice to the public that the proprietor or the organization is the owner of such a mark and is entitled to the exclusive use of the mark as such. It also puts a legal presumption that only the proprietor of the mark can use the same in course of the business. The business owner can not only have the common law remedy of passing off but also avail the benefits of claiming damages under an infringement suit if the trademark is registered.
Trademark protection brings in additional advantages as the owner can use ® symbol, which cannot be used if the mark has not been registered.
Avoiding Litigation and Conflicts
Before the trademark is registered, the attorney usually searches the database of the Trademark Registry to find out if there are any marks which may be conflicting with the mark proposed to be registered. Moreover, a thorough search is also done by the examiner of the trademark while examining the application. Thus, this two-stage search process minimizes the risk of the business owner being sued for the infringement of other’s trademark.
In the absence of the registration process, the business owner may get involved in an expensive litigation process and may lead to the payment of hefty damages. Further, the business owner may have to change the brand name, leading to loss of reputation and goodwill in the market.
Financial incentives and Building Value
A registered trademark is an intellectual property and thus an intangible asset. An intangible asset can be valued in monetary terms. Further, as an intangible asset, a trademark may be licensed or sold thus adding to the revenue stream of the organization. As an intangible asset, a trademark can also be used as a security or collateral for raising funds.
Further, registered trademarks of a company are held in better esteem as compared to unregistered ones by the investors. Potential investors are always looking out for a strong intellectual property portfolio and a business which has registered the trademark for its name, goods and services would have a better portfolio as compared to a business which is running with unregistered marks, as registration apart from increasing value provides clarity as to the holding of the rights during mergers and acquisitions.
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