“Do I Need a Trademark*?” 10 Things You Need to Know

Do I Need a Trademark?

“Do I Need A Trademark?” If you’re looking to stand out of the crowd… yes!

 
Whether you call it a “trademark” or “trade mark”… there comes a time in every business-person’s career where they think… “my business has become successful – so do I need a trademark?”
 
The answer in most cases is likely: yes. But there are many different reasons why!
 

Without further preamble: here are 10 reasons if you’re in business, you need (or will need) a trademark.

 

 
 
“Do I Need A Trademark”? 10 Things You Need to Know

1. Brand POWER

Trademarks protect brands. Whether: logo, brand name or slogan; registering marks stop others pretending to be you. It also creates an identity for your customers which is recognisable.

 

2. The “promise”

Brand identity functions as a promise. It promises to customers that they can expect goods or services of a certain standard. This “standard” is something you and your business have established over the years.

 

3. A name that sells itself

Consider about two identical computers with identical prices. One has Apple’s branding, and the other that’s blank. Which would you buy? As Apple’s trademarks promise a certain level of quality – you would choose it over the other one. (You might even choose Apple over a superior, unbranded computer!)

 

4. Protecting your distinctiveness

It’s important to stop other people pretending to be you. Counterfeiting or infringement usually takes place through people copying logos and brand names. I could set up a shop and call it “Ralph Lauren” and sold polo shirts. But, it would be unfair to make money of a reputation that isn’t mine.

 

5. Avoid damage from 3rd parties and competitors

If I am not as good at making shirts as Ralph Lauren (likely) – I’m also damaging their reputation by using their name. If someone used your brand and delivered bad goods you’d incur real damage to your business.

 

6. Some products rely massively on their brands

Can you imagine what it would be like for Coca-Cola to not use any of its trademarks? We did! Without its distinct: bottle, logo, name, and can design; Coca-Cola would have a much harder time! Another good example is bottled water. If it wasn’t for their (trademarked!) bottles and logos would you be able to tell the difference? A lot of the time, customers buy for the brand before the product itself.

 

7. More than your main product

Typically, you register your trademark in the classification your business is known for. So, “Ferrari” is registered in Class 12: for “Vehicles and Vehicle Components”. But you might also want to sell clothes with Ferrari on them, aftershave, shoes, and much more! By registering other classes, you can expand your brand to much more than your core offer.

 

8. Go worldwide!

With the benefits of world-wide acclaim comes exposure to more damaging activities. It’s a good problem to have! By registering trademarks around the world you protect yourself from losing out abroad.

 

9. Licensing and franchising

Did you know that your local McDonalds is not owned by McDonalds? Once a brand is established, you can license or franchise those trademarks to others. Each McDonalds’ restaurant is a franchise that pays to use McDonalds’ brand and setup.

 

Equally, your favourite football club doesn’t make all the clothes and toys it sells in its online shop. It licenses its logos and colours to makers for a fee! For brands, licensing and franchising can generate big money without the heavy lifting. This is impossible without registering a trademark.

 

10. It’s you!

Most customers don’t really understand the nuts and bolts behind the scenes. So, to your customers, your brand is you. Trademarks and IP are the most important part of your business when it comes to your customers. It’s important to value them as much as they do.
 
“Do I Need a Trademark” – Conclusion (and a warning!)
I could go on all day; but for sake of brevity I will leave it at 10. Remember, self-filing trademarks is a real minefield. Please seek legal advice to avoid registering weak trademarks!
 
Would you like to know more? Do you have any questions? Or, would like to register a trademark? Please call our world-class solicitors for advice:
 

0113 237 9900

 

 
“Do I Need a Trademark?” 10 Things You Need To Know, was written by Dr. Martin Douglas Hendry

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