Five fantastic benefits of trade mark registration

What is a trade mark?

A trade mark is a type of intellectual property that identifies a company’s products and/or services, and distinguishes them from those of its competitors.  There are many different types of marks that can function as a trade mark including, a word, sound, colour, shape, phrase, symbol, slogan, logo, or a combination of these.

Why should you register your trade mark?

A trade mark can be one of the most valuable assets within a business however, whilst businesses often invest significantly in creating, launching and promoting their trade mark, many do not take the extra step of protecting this valuable intangible asset via trade mark registration.

Here are five of the key reasons businesses should register their trade mark:

Reason 1 – Exclusive rights

Registering your trade mark will give you the exclusive right to use your trade mark throughout New Zealand, and to promote the goods and/or services it applies to. Having exclusive rights also means that no one else in New Zealand will be able to register a trade mark that is identical or confusingly similar to yours.

Once you have successfully registered your trade mark, you can indicate exclusive ownership with the ® symbol next to the trade mark.

Reason 2 – Badge of origin

In a crowded marketplace, differentiating your business from your competitors can be a challenging task. Significantly, a trade mark can serve as a unique badge of origin to customers, identifying the source of branded goods and/or services. Take the Apple logo for example – this logo is immediately recognised by consumers worldwide.

A trade mark could be the critical factor in persuading your customers to buy your products and/or services, rather than a product or service offered by one of your competitors.

Reason 3  – Enforcement value

Registering your trade mark provides you with the simplest and most effective method of preventing another party from using an identical or confusingly similar trade mark in respect of the same or similar goods and/or services. Although unregistered trade marks have some legal protection at common law, the burden of proof is much higher should another party copy or infringe your trade mark. It is also much more time consuming and expensive to enforce your rights when you do not have trade mark registration.

If you do have registered trade mark rights, and you find out that another party has copied or infringed your trade mark, you may be able to get that party to:

  • immediately cease use of your trade mark;
  • destroy any counterfeit products or promotional material containing your trade mark; and/or
  • compensate you for any profit loss due to the infringement.

Reason  4 – Monetary value

A trade mark registration is a valuable asset that can be commercialised in various ways, leading to more revenue and growth of your business.

For example, as the owner of a trade mark registration, you can license your trade mark to other parties in exchange for a licensing fee which can be in the form of a fixed fee or royalties, or a mixture of both. Licensing fees increase depending to the reputation and value of your trade mark.

If you wish to grow your business through franchising or bringing in investors, having registered rights in your trade mark makes this process much easier and attractive to potential franchisees or investors. In fact, potential investors often require that the business demonstrate ownership of the business’ trade marks as a condition for making the investment.

Furthermore, if you decide to sell your business, having registered trade marks can be very attractive to any potential buyers and allow you to substantially increase your selling price.

The value of a brand can run into billions. Here are top 5 most valuable brands in the world, according to Forbes:

  • Apple: $241.2 billion
  • Google: $207.5 billion
  • Microsoft: $162.9 billion
  • Amazon: $135.4 billion
  • Facebook: $70.3 billion

Reason 5 – Overseas expansion

Trade mark registration is territorial meaning, registration is limited to the territory in which it is registered. With this said, some countries do recognise trade marks registered in other countries and so, trade mark registration may make it easier to expand into new markets if the trade mark is already protected and recognised by the local Intellectual Property Office.

Interested in trade mark registration?

Registering a trade mark can be a complex process, but it is well worth the effort for businesses who are wanting to succeed in a competitive market.  Lane Neave’s experienced team of intellectual property lawyers can “make the complex easy” by preparing and filing your trade mark applications.  If you would like to obtain a quote for this fixed fee service, please get in touch with Anna Ryan or Roxana Cvasniuc in the Intellectual Property team at Lane Neave.

Meet the team that makes
things simple.

Anna Ryan
Roxana Cvasniuc

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