Over the last several weeks, I have reviewed four of the many reasons that being a trademark attorney – in my opinion – is a fantastic job. It is both challenging and exciting. It is ever-changing with new clients, new brands, new trademarks, new rules, new laws, and new technologies.
The number one reason I enjoy being a trademark attorney is that trademarks and brands are everywhere, and they are important to our culture and our economy. Trademarks and brands were everywhere decades ago, but they are even more everywhere today. And with technology changing the way we interact with everything, they are almost certain to be even more present in out future.
Great logos, brand names, and slogans communicate with people. They stir passions.
Brands are an inherent part of our daily life, our pop culture, even our politics. The average American is exposed to countless brands every day – every hour. (Try counting how many brands are shown and mentioned during one hour of an NFL football game!) Helping businesses protect their brands in this environment, so that they can use their brands successfully and grow as businesses, is exciting and engaging. People are passionate about brands. Think about: Coke vs. Pepsi. Consumers are passionate about their favorite music artist, sports teams, restaurants, social media sites, apps, clothing, and countless other things — and the brands they represent are inherently wrapped into those choices and passions.
Brands and trademarks are a vital part of our economy.
In addition to being a huge part of our lives since they are everywhere, brands and trademarks and a huge part of our economy. Intellectual property is a significant – and growing – percentage of the U.S. economy, of the jobs created in the U.S., and of the exports to other countries. President Obama has acknowledged the significant role of intellectual property: “Our single greatest asset is the innovation and the ingenuity and creativity of the American people. It is essential to our prosperity and it will only become more so in this century.” (March 11, 2010.)
Intellectual property-based industries account for more than $5 trillion of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Small businesses make up a sizeable portion of all U.S. business and play a significant role in the development, creation, and use of intellectual property. More than half of the employees in the U.S. are at companies with less than 500 employees. According to the SBA, “since the mid-1990s, small businesses have generally created 60 to 80 percent of the net new employment” in the U.S. (U.S. Small Business Administration, The Small Business Economy: 2009, http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/Small_Business_Economy_2009.pdf.)
The trademarks of small businesses are often vital to their growth and success. And their success fuels commerce and jobs and plays a role in the economy as a whole.
Because trademarks play a real role in our daily lives, and in our economy as a whole, I find working with brand owners to strengthen and protect their trademarks to be extremely rewarding work – in addition to being very enjoyable!
[An example of the power of logos and branding: The FedEx logo is among my all time favorites. It is simple. And the hidden arrow between the E and X subliminally tells consumers that FedEx will get your package where it is going.]