Strap a bike helmet on your brand
by Erik Pelton
I love to ride my bike. The fresh air, exercise and freedom are invigorating. As I leisurely rode to work one morning last month, I crashed and flew over the handlebars, landing on my head in the middle of the street. I escaped with a just few scratches and bruises–and a cracked helmet (see photo below). Some say I was lucky, but I believe I was not seriously injured because I was prepared. I wear a helmet every time I get on my bike to reduce the risk of injury in case of an accident.
Businesses, entrepreneurs, and consultants would be wise to place figurative “helmets” on their brand assets each time they create one. Brand names, logos, and slogans are some of the most critical and valuable assets held by successful businesses. For example, the Google trademark is worth over $40 billion dollars according to Brand Finance. When brands are plagued by copycats and knockoffs, they divert sales and harm a business’s hard earned reputation.
Registering trademarks with the USPTO is like putting a bike helmet on a brand. Trademark registration provides both preventive and contingent insurance for brand owners. A modest investment in trademark registration of a brand pays double dividends by reducing the likelihood of a trademark dispute, while at the same time providing the owner with a stronger position in the event of such a dispute. Another powerful benefit of registration is that by using the ® registered trademark symbol, brand owners communicate to their customers that their offering is unique, valuable and worthy of guarding against copiers. The legal benefits of a registration are tremendous too, but hopefully are never needed since infringers will be less likely to copy a protected trademark.
When you crash on your bike, it is too late to strap on a helmet. When your brand gets imitated, it is too late to benefit fully from trademark registration. Proactive trademark registration–just like my bike helmet—provides valuable protection and peace of mind day after day.
© 2014 Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC
Erik Pelton has provided brand advice to hundreds of businesses and consultants, and has registered more than 2,000 trademarks for clients. For more information, visit www.ErikPelton.com.Print This Post