The following is an excerpt from my book, Building a Bold Brand. To learn more about the book, visit

Trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark
Office (USPTO) has tremendous value. The basic government filing fee is
as low as $225, and the resulting trademark registration provides a
myriad of benefits to its owner:

  • Using the registration symbol (®) looks nice, and the official
    registration certificate looks great framed on an office wall to
    show both employees and customers the brand’s value and
    significance. But more importantly, the registration symbol helps
    ward off potential infringers by demonstrating to the public that
    the brand is taken seriously and has USPTO legal protections.
  • Registered trademarks appear in the USPTO’s online database,
    the first place most companies and trademark lawyers look when
    seeking to clear potential new names. Just appearing in the
    database reduces the risk that a competitor will try to adopt a
    similar name.
  • A trademark registration is a tangible asset that can be assigned,
    licensed, or used as collateral. In the sale of a business, a
    trademark can even be assigned a dollar value.
  • Trademark owners can sometimes use a U.S. application or
    registration as the basis for trademark rights in another country,
    giving owners enhanced options for filing for international
  • Owners of registered trademarks can record them with U.S.
    Customs for a small fee, and the Customs and Border Patrol will
    then monitor shipments at our ports and borders, looking for
    counterfeit and infringement uses.
  • Owners of registered trademarks can sue in U.S. District Court,
    which generally provides more opportunities to obtain an
    injunction and to collect damages and attorney’s fees.
  • If someone infringes the trademark, a “cease and desist” letter
    featuring a registered trademark is much stronger and much more
    likely to lead to a quick (and cheaper) resolution of the situation
    with positive results.
  • Having a registration reduces the probability of being accused of
    infringement because it demonstrates that a brand owner has
    taken proactive steps to protect the trademark, and it means that
    the USPTO did not find any confusingly similar trademarks.
  • Showing others that you have a registered trademark—by using
    the ® symbol—conveys that your brand is legitimate, important,
    and worthy of protection, all of which add value and strength to
    your brand.

The cumulative effect of these benefits is a powerful warning to others to
avoid using infringing marks. And, trademark registration gives its owner
tremendous peace of mind, as they know that they have done everything
possible to protect their brand and to minimize the risks that it could be
taken away or copied by someone else. This peace of mind and insurance
is priceless.

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