I propose that trademark registrations today are more valuable than ever! Protecting your trademark provides simply provides more benefits.
Here is why:
– Given the ease of use of the USPTO.gov TESS search, and the number of new trademark applicants and developers of new product and service brand names (and their attorneys) who use it, appearing in the USPTO’s online database is more valuable than ever. Just being there (in the USPTO regsitry) may prevent someone who otherwise would have adopted a similar name for a similar product or service from going forward with that name.
– Obtaining a registration may be more difficult, given the sheer number of existing registration (more than ever before). So successfully completing the registration process is certainly valuable.
– There are likely to be a record number, or nearly so, of new trademark applicants and users of new brand names in the future years. So protecting your trademark now – to potential block, stop, or avoid them – is extremely valuable.
– A trademark registration is a valuable tool in a UDRP domain name complaint or in otherwise seeking to enforce rights against someone cybersquatting on a domain name. And the number of domain names, and domain name extensions, continue to grow.
– The upcoming launch of new gTLD (top level domain names) will create an opportunity for speculators, infringers, and others to register domain names like BRAND.shopping, BRAND.email, BRAND.phone, and hundreds of others. Having a trademark registration is likely to make blocking such a domain easier, quicker, and cheaper.
– Having a trademark registration is a valuable tool in making a complaint regarding a social media username infringement with Twitter, Facebook, and other sites.
– Trademarks are more frequently recognized as valuable and separate assets in a business’ portfolio. A trademark registration is a separate tangible asset that can be transferred, licensed, or assigned a value on a balance sheet.
– A trademark registration can be renewed forever provided the mark is still used in commerce.
– The internet has lowered the barriers to starting a new business. More people are starting businesses, whether as their primary job or on the side, than ever before. Finding a good and protectable brand name is becoming increasingly difficult. Those who have protected trademarks are in general in a clearly better position than those who do not.
– Non-traditional trademarks are increasingly available to all businesses. Shapes, sounds, smells, configurations, and other ‘odd’ trademarks are increasingly a part of marketing for small and big businesses. And the USPTO’s online application system has made obtaining them far easier and cheaper than a decade ago.
– Our society is becoming obsessed with brands. Even as the number of brands grows rapidly, our cultures reverence for great brands and their trademarks, continues to grow. Apple. Google. Facebook. Coke. Ford. These names and logos are a part of the American cultural fabric.
Can you think of other reasons why a trademark registration today is more valuable than ever? Let me know in the comments!