Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Do You Need a Registered Trademark?

Yup, pilfering from Marit's articles again – time seems to be an elusive friend as of late.

It's less of a need than a want. Registering a trademark is NOT mandatory. However, are you a business owner, or do you work with a business that does not currently have a trademark registered or pending with the USPTO? If this last statement in any way describes you, then YES, you may benefit from having a trademark. It is true that many businesses do not register a trademark with the USPTO, but this puts the business at a great disadvantage when compared to another company that does have a trademark.

Having a trademark notifies an individual that you have the corner on your market. It allows you to take court action if another business does attempt to infringe upon your name. You are essentially protecting your market upon registering a trademark by publicly individualizing your name. This protection allows a greater piece of mind for the average business owner, by ensuring that no one may interfere with your customer base by confusing their business with your own. The last scenario is a common occurrence, and many individuals have been forced to deal with legal repercussions because they did not take the time to trademark their name, while a competing business did.

Think about it like this; if your name was Tom Smith and you were a hard-worker, while there was another Tom Smith who was a poor worker, you wouldn’t want to be confused with that other individual, would you? As I mentioned above, this confusion is a common occurrence among businesses. This is why it is important to protect your name, and your products or services! While it is ultimately up to each business owner whether or not they want to protect their name, be aware of the potential ramifications that can come with not applying for a trademark. Whether or not your name is trademarked could have the ability to make or break your business; so why wouldn’t you apply for a trademark?


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