Trademark is essentially the identity of a brand! It is a mark or symbol having the ability to differentiate products or services of different businesses dealing identical goods. The broader term encompasses the shapes of goods, its patterns, designs or colours, packaging, etc. The name, logo, product or service of a start-up is the crux of its business and thus, formulate a part of its trademark.
It becomes paramount for any start-up to protect its intellectual assets by registering them so that no other entity can use its brand name and goodwill without licensing and prior permission.
Why Trademark is important for Start-ups
Consumers’ decisions to purchase a product among its substitutes are influenced by the brand name represented by Trademark and the reputation a brand holds in the market. It is important for businesses to have an understanding of why Trademark is an important asset and how it aids the growth of a business. Here are the reasons of why trademarks are significant for a startup:
- Trademark helps consumers know the business and its innovative products or services.
- It helps in influencing purchasers and distinguishing the business from already established competitors in the market.
- It stimulates start-ups to provide the best quality and maintain their quality standards in order to enhance its brand image.
- It enhances a business’s competitive advantage with growing time.
- It is an ideal way to promote the start-up’s work, image, brand or messages across cultures, territories or languages via the logo, brand name, tagline, etc.
- Trademark helps in gaining popularity on the internet and earn a higher ranking on search engines by generating higher traffic.
- Protection of trademark is comparatively less expensive than other intellectual property rights as after registering a trademark it protects a trademark for a longer duration.
Registration of Trademark
It is essential for a start-up to register its trademark as it provides proprietary rights over its brand name, logo, mark, tagline, words, etc. It ensures a complete legal control over it and protects the trademarks from any illicit access or its misappropriation in any manner. With the registration of a trademark, a start-up can safeguard its entity against frauds and repulsive competition by raising legal action against them.
In addition, registration allows the start-up to freely use/publish its trademark on any medium or platform, such as the social media. It helps the start-up in carving its business identity and enables it to leverage the trademark for capturing public attention. A registered trademark guarantees a place for the start-up in competitive business vertical and gives it a chance to stand against established competitors. If a start-up decides to sell its idea or venture to someone, surrendering the IPR to the other business would be hassle-free with a registered Trademark in hand.
A brand name is a critical asset. Due diligence is necessary before investing time and capital in marketing the start-up’s new brand. Proper research must be done before registering a Trademark so that it does not infringe on anyone’s prior rights. Failure in conducting Trademark search can lead to rejection and even civil or criminal liability for infringing upon someone’s rights.
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