Should I get a Trademark?

If you are in business, registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office is a good idea. Whether you register for a trademark right away or wait until you’ve made sure your business idea will make the money you’re hoping is up to you. But it’s important to think about the pros and cons.

5 Reasons Why You Should Get a Trademark

1. Validation. You will (or should) do a trademark search to ensure your trademark is available before sinking time, money, and energy into developing it. Doing a trademark search helps you make sure your mark is not likely to be confused with others in use. If the trademark passes the USPTO registration process, it makes challenges to your trademark more of an uphill battle and gives you less to worry about. It just puts you in a stronger position than not having a registered mark.
2. Public Notice. Registering a trademark will help others know you are using it and it will dissuade people from using a similar mark.
3. Enforcement. A registered trademark had stronger enforcement mechanisms than what is available without registration (ex: you can get more damages and attorney’s fees)
4. Long lasting. As long as you pay registration renewal fees, the trademark can last indefinitely.
5. Adds value. If you want to sell the business, having a registered trademark creates a transferrable asset and is something potential buyers will like to see.
Bonus reason! A registered trademark can enhance your rights and ability to protect your products on online storefronts such as Amazon or Etsy.

4 Reasons Why you Might Not Register a Trademark

The only real downside to registering a trademark is that it costs money and takes effort. You’ll face the following costs:
1. Registration costs and government fees. This may include search fees, attorney’s fees, and filing fees.
2. Trademark monitoring. You want to monitor market activities for potentially infringing marks.
3. Challenges. People can actually challenge your right to the mark, which results in legal expenses. Making your use of the mark more public through registration will also make your mark more visible to people who might disagree with you using it. In other words, someone might not ever notice that you are using a trademark on ebay until you go to register for it. Once you do, they will contest your registration and your rights to the mark, etc.
4. Policing. If someone is infringing, you have to enforce your rights or you can potentially lose them.
5. Disputes/litigation. If there is a dispute about a trademark, you may have to take it to the courts.

So, as I said, all of this costs money to deal with. If you are not in a position to fund these activities or you are not willing to do so, registering a trademark may not be something you choose to do. But intellectual property can be a huge asset, so it is definitely worth protecting.

Let’s Get in Touch

If you would like to ask a question about trademarks, copyrights, or online business, shoot me an email (thelawofthebrand@gmail.com) or a text (702-291-1799) or schedule a meeting.

Schedule a FREE Consultation

Leland Faux
Attorney Leland Faux blogs about trademark, copyright, and online business issues at Law of the Brand. You can submit a question by email to thelawofthebrand@gmail.com.

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