A trademark brings your business recognition. The importance of a trademark for small business is vast. Although there is no requirement that you register your trademark, registering and owning a trademark on the Federal Principal Register can provide you with several advantages, regardless of how big or small your business is.
A trademark is anything that can be used to identify a business and its goods or services and distinguish it from others in the same profession. If you are the first person to use a trademark, you gain certain rights when you start using it to promote your product. The decision of whether or not to register will depend on several factors. Although there may be costs associated with registering a trademark, those costs may be small compared to the losses you might suffer later on for failing to protect your business’ name, slogan, logo, or symbol.
Increase the Value of Your Small Business by Registering a Trademark
First, registering your trademark brings value. In addition to gaining the right to use the ® symbol or "Registered Trademark" wording in conjunction with your mark, you also receive exclusive rights to use your newly registered name, logo, slogan, or symbol nationally for advertisements, sales, or other business connected to your products or services. Your mark becomes an asset in your intellectual property portfolio that can add legitimacy and recognition to your company and increase its valuation in the event of a sale on the business.
Prevent Others From Using Your Trademark
Second, registering your trademark is a deterrent against competitors. Many new business owners conduct searches in the public United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database before making starting their business. Anyone who searches for your mark will be informed of your ownership and trademark rights. This can prevent hassle and headache in the long run because other business owners will know not to use your trademark accidentally to promote their own goods and services. In fact, registration with the USPTO puts others on “constructive notice” that you are the owner of the mark, which means you will not need to prove that another party actually knew about your intellectual property rights at the time of the infringement. If you find out that someone has misused your trademark, you can send a cease and desist letter to get the offender to stop.
Protect Your Intellectual Property in Court
Third, registering your trademark permits you to bring an action in federal court against any business that attempts to violate your rights. For instance, if another business were to try and adopt a confusingly similar mark, and the situation could not be resolved through negotiation, you could seek an injunction and request that the court issue a cease and desist order against the illegal conduct. You might also be entitled to monetary compensation.
Make Your Trademark Uncontestable
Finally, if you continue to use your registered trademark for five consecutive years, you earn the right to file an Affidavit of Incontestability. This means that your trademark is now conclusively established in court. If you have to litigate a dispute, nearly every defense to trademark infringement would be eliminated. Moreover, you will have the right to bring any action in federal court, and you may be entitled to triple damages and attorney fees if you prevail.
Brooklyn Business Lawyer Regina Gordon Helps Businesses With Their Trademark Needs
If you are starting a business in New York, or if you have other small business needs, Regina Gordon Law Office can guide you through every stage of the process. We serve clients online throughout New York State, including Long Island, New York City (NYC), Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island. To discuss your goals, contact us at 347-770-7507 or submit an online inquiry today.
This post is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be, nor should it be construed, as legal advice. Always consult an attorney, licensed in your state, before taking legal action.