Trademark for startups is a key need for building identity, asset, and reputation.
Having a trademark is significant for all business owners, be it a startup or well-established name in the market. These days there have been a lot of lawsuits and intellectual property infringements by market players. Business owners fight to trademark words that have been in existence for a decade. Startups usually invest their efforts in productivity, business strategies, resource allocation, marketing, and much more. But they end up ignoring other core assets such as trademark registration and other legal requirements.
Startups tend to forget that intellectual property rights, specifically trademarks, enhance the value of their brand. In this article, we will analyze how getting your trademark registered can be fruitful for business startups. Having your secure trademark not only maximizes the consumer’s trust but also aids in protecting your brand. Thus trademark for startups is an intangible asset.
Do you own a business but don’t have a trademark? See Top 6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Trademark
What are the Benefits of Trademark for Startups?
A trademark is a significant form of intellectual property consisting of designs, signs, logos, and words. It is a type of intellectual property that gives you the right to use and assign it to others. Also, a trademark gives your brand a unique identity discerning it from the competitors. If you have an excellent business idea and planning to establish a startup, a trademark can be an important ingredient in your success journey. Every country has its own trademark and patent offices. In case of Unites States, federal trademark registrations come under USPTO.
For example, companies such as Starbucks, Mercedes, Apple, and Microsoft; all have the unique trademark that distinguishes them from other competitors in the market.
What are the benefits of trademark registration as a startup?
Exclusivity and Brand Recognition
A brand or company or startup with its distinguished graphical trademark will obviously have a well-known identity than the one that hasn’t. For example, people identify Microsoft by their four-color squares mark, Audi by their overlapping circle logo, and Apple by their half-bitten apple.
- Human beings are naturally made to remember and believe graphics and logos, a startup with its unique trademark will have an exclusive commercial impression.
- Moreover, a registered trademark can not be used by anyone else. Thus, your brand’s identity will remain yours and no one else’s.
- Also, registering your trademark with USPTO will ensure trademark protection. It will also provide the power to file a lawsuit against anyone who tries to file a trademark identical to yours. You have the option to sue the infringing party and even claim damages.
- Having a trademark will also eliminate the scope of confusion among your potential and existing customers.
Thus, a registered trademark is your startup’s exclusive property and one of the most valuable assets. In today’s crowded field of companies and startups budding every single day., it gets important to make sure that people remember your brand uniqueness. And to achieve that, you need to go to that extra mile to mark your IP rights.
Trademark is a distinct tool that provides a unique and different identity to your brand. While startups and businesses spend so much on getting their products and services’ branding right, they often end up neglecting the need for a trademark to represent their startup. Therefore, it gets important for startups to consider a trademark as a tool to set up a brand’s unique identity in the market. In addition to establishing a brand identity, a trademark also helps your budding startup to stand out. Thus, trademarks get really valuable especially for the startups that are yet at a small level.
Easy to Locate
Having a unique trademark registered with USPTO makes your startup easy to find by the consumers. Also, a consumer will remember your brand by its logo for future needs. Thus, the company with its unique name or logo trademarked will become popular in no time as consumers will have zero to little difficulty in locating and remembering it. Hence, a trademark is one of the key assets to achieve future business goals.
Protect your Startup from Infringements and Lawsuits
There are many startups and even big companies using a trademark without registering it. While it is permissible, there are 2 issues:
- There is a huge risk for such companies getting lawsuits due to their unregistered mark infringing upon others
- As the company has not registered its mark, anyone can copy its trademark. In such a case, the company’s reputation will fall in no time.
Therefore, it gets imperative for a startup to get their trademark so that they can initiate a legal action and not put their business at risk. Having a trademark will also provide legal protection and exclusive rights to trademark owners.
The world has become highly globalized today where thousands of solutions are available for consumers in form of products and services. There are thousands of options available for similar products and services. This is why there is a dire need to stand out amongst the competitors offering similar products and services. The need to stand out amongst the crowd makes trademark for startups beneficial. Therefore, your startup needs something different and valuable that brings your product to consumers’ radar. And Trademark is one such significant solution that provides substantial recognition through an exclusive name, logo or a catchy phrase like ‘Never Give up’ by Nike.
Connect with your Customers
Trademark establishes a connect between your brand and customers. It works by engraving your brand’s mark on their mind, resulting in a built familiarity and retention in their minds. Thus, it is safe to say that trademark will play a key role in future of business.
While your trademark is under the process of registration in the patent office, you can use the superlative tm. After the approval, the brand or company can even use ® mark that indicates a registered trademark. Once your trademark is safe, your startup can stay flexible because you can expand your business to various areas while not worrying about your trademark. Thus trademark for startups has an immense potential to elevate your brand’s value. Therefore, when you get a trademark for your startup, you have the option to monetize it while ensuring that your trademark is safe from infringement.
The statutory rights that come with a registered Trademark do more than build reputation, brand recognition, and boost consumers’ belief in your products. The trademark protection rights give you the power to assign as well as license the trademark use to other businesses. Moreover, the trademark owner also has the right to sue the trademark infringer using other’s registered business names. This will ensure that your trademark and brand identity remains exclusively yours.
Globalize your Brand
There are immense advantages if globalizing your startups both in terms of popularity and consumer base enhancement. Moreover, a startup has more potential to get success if it has a global existence. Thus, if you are considering starting a new company and taking it on the global stage, a Trademark becomes a necessity.
Here is why:
- Your brand will have a hundred times more exposure in the international market instead of domestic markets.
- The potential consumer base and your brand’s identity will grow multiple times.
How to Register a Trademark for Startups?
To get your trademark registered under International Trademark System, the first step is getting the registration in your home country. In case of United States, federal registration is possible under USPTO. Once your brand has a nationally registered trademark, you can proceed with the international registration under the Madrid protocol. Getting a trademark will provide intellectual property protection under intellectual property laws.
Where does Trademark Search come into the picture?
You can only trademark a brand name that is unique. This is because USPTO grants a trademark only when it considers them being worthy of the trademark rights. Moreover, you must make sure that the proposed trademark is not identical or similar to an existing trademark. If you file a trademark application for an identical trademark, USPTO will reject it based on the likelihood of confusion. So, it is mandatory that you conduct a comprehensive trademark search to check the availability before filing trademark applications.
Should I hire a pro to conduct a professional trademark search for my business?
Yes, it is advisable to hire a trademark search firm or trademark attorney to conduct a comprehensive trademark search for your company or startup. This is because:
- The trademark owners do not have expert knowledge on how to conduct a trademark search
- The free tools available online to perform trademark searches often miss some filed trademarks or even existing trademarks.
One important free tool to conduct trademark searches is TESS by USPTO. However, you should definitely seek professional help to ensure your proposed trademark does not end up inviting any violations. In case your trademark is identical to a product or service mark, you will end up getting an office action from USPTO demanding a response.
Do you want to conduct a basic trademark search on your own? Here are free tools that will help you out
Why choose TMRready?
Trademark search and trademark monitoring of registered marks is a necessity for a company. While companies go to great lengths to secure trademarks, they usually fail to monitor them regularly. Habitual infringers who are always on the lookout for trademarks use such negligence to their benefit. To identify and stop infringers on time, companies must conduct regular trademark monitoring.
If you are one such startup or company that is seeking best trademark monitoring services, you must visit TMReady. Our Trademark Infringement Monitoring services help companies to keep an eye out for trademark infringement worldwide. We utilize conventional as well as non-conventional tools and methods to track potential infringement while also helping customers protect their valuable brand names.