Whenever starting out a business or brand, we have to know what we can do in order to protect it, and having a trademark is one of them. Trademarks are all about protection for YOUR brand. That’s why we need to understand what it means and what it can do. 

We’ve already established that Intellectual Property, specifically trademarks, are there to legally protect your business. But there’s a LOT of confusion when it comes to what trademarks do and what they don’t. In this article, we’ll clear out a couple of misconceptions of what a trademark is and what it isn’t.


1. Doesn’t prevent Copycats

It is a common misconception that registering your brand's trademark can help you prevent other brands from entering the same market or offering similar services or products.

Whilst this may seem like an attractive solution to protecting your brand, the truth is that trademarks will only protect the identity of your brand – such as its name, logo, and tagline. This means that while they will help to distinguish you from competitors and protect your intellectual property, they do not provide any form of market protection.

Trademarking is an essential part of the process for protecting your brand and its associated assets, however, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the limits of trademark law in order to ensure that your brand is adequately protected. Being aware of these limits allows you to have the proper leverage of all available legality and other protections for your brand.

2. Doesn’t Give You an Absolute Monopoly

In understanding the identity of your brand, you’ll be aware that there are other companies that can also provide the same services and products that you do. Having your brand trademarked won’t stop your competitors from offering these services, however, you can protect the identity of what your brand is. 

These competitors can make it difficult for customers to recognize and distinguish your products from others. Having a trademark is an excellent way to create a recognizable brand identity that will help people authenticate and differentiate your offerings from the competition in the market.

3. No World-Wide Protection

While having a trademark registered in one country does provide some level of protection in that jurisdiction, this doesn't necessarily mean that you're protected from similar brands in other countries. This means that trademarks are registered on a per-country basis and must be renewed regularly if you wish to maintain the same level of coverage across the globe.

Trademarks need to be renewed every few years in order to keep them valid and active. Failing to renew a trademark can lead to it becoming invalid, making it important for businesses to remember the deadlines for renewal or risk losing their hard-earned intellectual property.

4. Can’t be Too Similar

 By being aware of the laws that are in place, you can ensure that any work you produce will be protected from those who may try to copy or use it without permission. Taking the time to learn about these regulations can help protect your rights as an owner of your brand.

Trademarks can provide legal protection not only against exact copies of a brand or product but also similar imitations that could confuse the public. A trademark allows a company to make sure its products remain distinct in the market so you can receive all the financial benefits you deserve from the services or products you offer. 

5. Doesn't Guarantee Success

Just because your brand is trademarked, doesn't mean that your business will automatically be successful. It takes more than just a simple trademark to make a brand successful.

By obtaining a trademark registration, you can secure your exclusive right to use and commercially benefit from the hard work and reputation that you have built around your brand. The trademark protects the goodwill associated with your brand that makes up the identity of your business—giving you peace of mind that no one else can use it without your authorization.

6. Doesn’t Prevent Theft

Trademarks do not do the policing themselves. Without the proper trademark, there is very little one can do to police their brand or protect themselves against potential infringements. This makes it essential for companies to obtain the necessary trademarks in order to ensure they have protection for their brand. 

Owning your brand and having it trademarked is essential to protecting it against potential theft or misuse by other people. By getting trademarked, you gain the legal right to defend it in the event of rivalries, giving you an additional level of security that may be challenging to obtain through other methods.

7. Doesn’t Only Apply to Large Brands 

It is a common sight to see that many of the larger companies out there have taken the necessary steps to register their brand protection. However, this does not mean that smaller businesses, especially those just starting out, should not take similar steps. In fact, securing and protecting your brand identity is of utmost importance and should be done regardless. 

Getting trademarked should be part of brand identity protection from the very beginning. Just because you see the “bigger guys” having these legal steps made doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. After all, you are protecting what’s yours.

8. Longevity Doesn’t Imply Ownership

If you've been running in the industry for quite some time and HAVEN'T trademarked your brand yet, sorry to say, you don't legally own it yet. It'll be a difficult process to prove in court without any proof that this brand is yours. 

Yes, brand recognition is important, but it's not just about being well-known; it's also about protecting your identity and making sure that your company’s image is protected. Investing in strategies to protect your brand name and identity can go a long way in ensuring its longevity in an ever-evolving market.

9. Trademarking isn’t Fast

The process isn’t as easy as just filling out a form on a website. Taking the time to properly understand what you are getting into before starting the process is an important step that can help prevent any unfortunate surprises. Being aware and informed of what you're getting into goes a long way in ensuring that everything runs smoothly to get exactly what you need. 

Trademarking is a complex and lengthy process that cannot be done in minutes. It often takes 6-12 months, if not years, for full registration to be completed due to the extensive process involved. It can involve multiple steps such as submitting paperwork, conducting research, and countless back-and-forth with the trademark office.

10. A Trademark isn’t a Waste of Money

Trademarks are valuable assets that allow you to license or franchise your brand and ensure that nobody else can use it. Without a trademark, you will not be able to protect your brand and the hard work you put in to create it. This is why it's essential for all companies, big or small, to register their trademarks as soon as possible.

If ever in the future you do consider selling your brand, being trademarked is definitely a valuable asset. By having a Trademark, you’ll be able to have more supporting papers needed to be backed by the government to request higher valuations when negotiating with potential buyers and investors. 

In a Nutshell

Now that we’ve cleared a couple of misconceptions and finally know the importance of a trademark, It’s best to start the process right away. This is one of the important steps In building an effective brand and properly protecting it. Start by getting a trademark today, so you can officially call your brand YOURS.


Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.