I've posted hundreds of videos about trademarks.
I've got videos about what to trademark, where to trademark, when to trademark, how to trademark, who to trademark with, and a million other topics. In this video, I will summarize some of my older videos and talk about the benefits of getting your brand trademarked. WHY should you trademark your brand? What does trademarking accomplish?
Essentially, a trademark is a combination of insurance, an enforceable monopoly, and an asset. Keep watching as I will unfold these three main benefits of trademarking for you in this video. Let me start with a bit of legalese here for you. When you register your brand as a trademark you are said to have a rebuttable presumption of ownership and validity of an exclusive right to the use of your brand. You're welcome.
What this means in plain English is that once you trademark your brand, unless someone successfully challenges the registration, you are considered to be the owner of a valid trademark, which gives you a monopoly right to use your brand in association with the goods and services for which it was registered and to let or stop others from doing so.
To simplify this even further, this means that your trademark registration certificate lets you stop others from taking a free ride on your brand to compete with you. Alright, this should be simple enough, so let me go back to the three benefits of trademarking—insurance, an enforceable monopoly, and an asset. But before I do that, I'd appreciate it if you took a second to like this video and subscribe to this channel.
OK. Let's start with the insurance side of trademarking. Once you trademark your brand you are deemed to be its owner. This means that by registering your brand as a trademark, you have just minimized the risk of someone going after you and claiming that THEY own the brand and that because THEY own the brand, you now need to immediately stop using what you thought was YOUR brand and maybe even pay them for trademark infringement. We actually get this a lot.
Entrepreneurs would say, "it's not that I want to fight everyone around me for the brand. I just want to make sure that nobody goes after me for using it". And that's the first reason you would trademark your brand. Because it gives you this rebuttable presumption. Notice that I use the word "rebuttable" and that I said that trademarking "minimizes" the risk, as opposed to fully eliminates it.
If you knowingly stole the brand from someone else or if someone else can prove that your trademark should never have been registered, it is possible that your trademark registration will be canceled and you would be forced into rebranding. It is possible. But it's also possible you get hit by lightning tomorrow.
For all intents and purposes, as long as you keep using the brand that you have successfully registered as a trademark, you OWN your brand and nobody will be able to force you out of it. When you own your brand, you build credibility both in your own eyes and in the eyes of others. Dozens of our clients have told us something magical happened when they received their framed trademark registration certificates from us.
They say it was something tangible that validated in their mind that they owned a real business, not a hobby. When you trademark your brand, you send the message to your clients, your shareholders, your investors, your bankers, and your competitors that you’re serious about your business. The trademarking process takes a long time, and if you weren’t serious, you wouldn’t bother getting your brand trademarked, right? Now let's talk about the enforceable monopoly side of trademarks.
Essentially, you can use your trademark to stop others from knocking you off. It means that anyone who is
- using a brand similar to yours
- to offer products or services similar to those for which you have trademarked your brand
- in the same country where you have trademark your brand
- is infringing on your trademark.
You can demand that they immediately stop the infringement. You can also be entitled to significant monetary compensation. So if the insurance side of trademarking is more about defense, the enforceable monopoly side of it is all about offense. It's about you doing whatever it takes to preserve your brand to business and not let some parasites take a free ride on your hard work.
And it's not just about the money. It’s a fact. Many business owners, with their skills and knowledge, would be making more if they shut down their business and got a job. But they persevere. They work crazy long hours. They do whatever it takes. Why? Because they know they offer something of value to the world. They know that what they do, the way they do it will help a lot of people.
They want to be remembered under the brand they came up with for all the good things they’ve done for all the people they’ve helped. It’s all about legacy for them. So whether it's about money or about your good name, when you get your trademark, you have a very powerful legal tool to stop others from using your brand. And that's the second big benefit of trademarking.
The third side of trademarks is that a trademark is an asset. They act as a bank vault for storing something of value that can later be sold, franchised, or licensed to others. The best example is George Clooney's Casamigos tequila. He and his partner Rande Gerber came up with the idea of the brand while vacationing together in Mexico in 2010. The first thing they did is they trademarked the name in 2011. Then, they found a distiller in Mexico and officially launched and made the Casamigos tequila available to the public in 2013.
And then, just a few years later, they sold the brand to Diageo, the world's largest alcohol distributor, for $1 billion dollars. They practically printed a billion dollars out of thin air. And if you're thinking to yourself, well of course it's George Clooney. Think again. I assure you that it would have cost Diageo less than a billion dollars to hire Mr. Clooney to advertise Smirnoff Vodka, Guinness Beer, Johnnie Walker whiskey, and all of their other drinks.
Instead, Diageo paid a billion dollars to acquire the brand. So, there's a lesson there. Similarly, the biggest brands out there are valued in billions of dollars. Sometimes, tens and hundreds of billions of dollars. Your brand might never get to that valuation but it's certainly worth something! If you were to expand, franchise, sell your business or license your brand, the only reason it would make any sense for anyone to pay you for the use of your brand is if you can prove that you own your brand.
No franchisee in their right mind would buy a franchise from a franchisor that doesn't own the brand they're trying to franchise. Your trademark registration certificate is that piece of paper that can add a few zeros to the valuation of your brand and your business. No matter how you slice it, no matter which of these three reasons is higher on your priorities list, there is literally no situation where you'd be better off NOT having your brand trademarked.
The only exception I can think of is when you find your brand so utterly worthless that ANY investment in it is a complete waste of money. And I don't mean just investment in protecting it. I'm also talking about the investment of time, money, and energy that goes into building and promoting it. As our tagline goes, "If it's worth promoting, it's worth protecting". But the opposite is true as well. If it's not worth protecting, it's not worth promoting.
If you're watching this video, it's probably because you are considering trademarking your brand and trying to decide if it's worth it. I'll make it really simple for you. Just go to trademarkfactory.com and book a free call with one of our strategy advisors. They'll hear you out, answer your questions, and help you figure out if you actually need to trademark your brand. Book your call today. What have you got to lose other than your brand, right?