COVID-19 Update: We are working remotely and available to help our clients. Learn more
Wednesday March 4, 2020

Trademarks: Five Wake-Up Calls About Brand Value

Authored by: Marc J. Belliveau Posted in: Intellectual Property

Trademarks can become extremely valuable. For example, Amazon, Apple and Google are each currently valued at well over $300 billion. So, the small cost to register them is money well spent.

The internet is replete with prudent legal advice about why companies should protect their valuable brands through trademark registration in every relevant country. However, there isn’t very much information about the kinds of preliminary “self-awareness” branding factors which an entrepreneur or start-up business should consider in relation to trademark registration needs.

Over my 25 years as a trademark agent, I have observed that the following five topics are typically the big “tip-offs” or “red flags” that a business owner recognizes as a trigger, justification or impetus for proceeding with a trademark registration application.

1. Investment

You have significantly invested in your brand, whether through your own creative development work or through a professional graphic designer, and you don’t want to waste that financial investment. Just like investing in property insurance or building security, it becomes readily apparent to you that it’s wise to get trademark protection right from the get-go.

2. Pride

Your brand reflects who you are or strive to be in the marketplace, so you take great pride in the word or logo that represents you and your business to the outside world. You may have received unsolicited compliments or positive feedback about your wordmark, slogan or logo. So, leaving economics aside, your business pride would be injured if someone imitated your brand or tried to depreciate its accrued goodwill. Trademark protection becomes a common-sense solution to a potential emotionally loaded issue.

3. Uniqueness

Your brand is very likely unique and artistically original. Perhaps you invented a new catchy word, tapped into an emerging neologism or created a beautiful visual design. You now realize that it may become tempting for online rogues to ride your unique and original branding coattails with copycat imitations of your wordmark or logo. They are less likely to get away with it if your trademark is registered.

4. Publicity

Your brand may be discussed in the news, displayed for a major event sponsorship or the subject of a magazine or newspaper review. Whether it’s free publicity or paid advertising, the public is becoming exposed and aware of your brand. As awareness grows beyond your current geographic market, it becomes more legally difficult to rely solely on the common law of passing off to protect your brand from trolls and imitators. Again, there comes a time in your business growth when you realize trademark protection is the smart and prudent course of action.

5. Competition

Your competitors are watching you. Your brand distinguishes your products and/or services from theirs. Competitors might try to plant seeds of confusion among your customers by coming very close to your wordmark, slogan or logo with their branding and promotional materials. They might even try to disparage your brand or brazenly advertise their products and/or services are superior or less expensive than yours. You know that at some point there might be litigation arising from these competitive scuffles and you want to be ready with the “sword & shield” that trademark registration provides your business under federal legislation.

Summary

There is usually some random event which occurs or a light bulb that goes off with a small or medium-sized business that leads the way to brand protection and trademark registration. The five wake-up calls discussed here are not exhaustive, but they are typically the moment in your business life cycle when the advantages and benefits of trademark registration become an obvious necessity instead of a perceived luxury that can be put off to the future.

If you would like more information about Trademarks, please contact our Trademark Agent Marc Belliveau.

Share This Post:

Ask a question about this post.

Any Questions

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post | Thursday June 25, 2020

Saskatchewan Bill 205 – Changes for Surrogates and Intended Parents

Authored by: Terrance G. Sheppard Authored by: Kelsey J. Webb Posted in: Family Law

Bill 205 passed royal assent on March 16th. Although the Act is not yet in force, the changes led to some much-needed updates to Saskatchewan’s Children’s Law Act and fertility law.

Read full article
Blog Post | Monday June 22, 2020

What is the award for your pain and suffering from a vehicle collision?

Authored by: Shafic A. Khouri Authored by: David S.R. Parker Posted in: Personal Injury

If you suffered minor injuries from a motor vehicle collision, Nova Scotia law sets a limit for the amount you can be awarded for your pain and suffering. This limit depends on the year in which the collision happened.

Read full article
Blog Post | Wednesday June 10, 2020

PPSA Security Registration Update

Authored by: Joshua J. Santimaw Posted in: Business Litigation

The Nova Scotia Registrar in Bankruptcy issued the decision Rizzato (Re), 2020 NSSC 63, on April 24, 2020.

Read full article
Blog Post | Monday June 8, 2020

Hurt? We can help. Request a free personal injury consultation

Authored by: David S.R. Parker Authored by: Shafic A. Khouri Posted in: Personal Injury

Recovering from an injury is by itself difficult enough. But in the aftermath of an injury, you may also need to deal with multiple other personal issues caused by your injuries.

Read full article