February 28, 2017
One of the common myths about trademarking is that it's too expensive.
I used to dispel that myth by providing convincing proof that, in fact, trademarking is NOT expensive at all.
As I was preparing to teach a workshop for the Burnaby Board of Trade members, I realized that I was wrong.
Trademarking is neither expensive, nor not expensive.
The cost of trademarking is irrelevant.
Here's what I mean.
Trademarking is an investment.
Like with any other investment, the real question is not "how much did it cost me?", but "did I get a good return?"
And then I thought of two examples.
Do you think Coca-Cola ever wonders how much they paid their lawyers back in 1892 when they filed their first trademark application—now that their brand is worth $73 Billion? Even if they had picked the most expensive law firm and overpaid them by a factor of 10, it'd still be the best investment they've made!
On the other hand, there's Karhoo. And if you're wondering what Karhoo is, it's a startup that burnt through $250,000,000 trying to compete with Uber—until it went bust. A dollar spent on trademarking the brand was a dollar too much.
I often say that there are only two reasons why you'd be better off without a registered trademark than with one—if in the immediate future you're planning to rebrand or go bankrupt. In any other situation, trademarking your brand is better than leaving it unprotected.
Because nobody starts a business hoping to fail, you need to look at trademarking as an investment that secures the opportunity to make it big!
You can call it cost of doing business or necessary evil.
I call it, doing what's right.