How to Protect Your Company's Most Valuable Asset

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Most companies, especially those starting out, do not realize that from the start they already have and own a trademark. A trademark is defined as any word, symbol, phrase, device, or combination thereof used to identify a source of a good or service. Trademark rights do not depend on registration with the US Trademark Office, but arise as soon as use of the mark is made in commerce. These are known as “common law” rights. Thus, your company name, the names of your products and services, any marketing tag lines, or logos are trademarks already owned by your organization and enforceable against third parties.

Protect Your Trademark

Trademark protection is not just limited to words and designs. There are numerous other ways companies can differentiate themselves from competitors and gain a competitive advantage in the eyes of consumers. A trademark can consist of a color, sound, smell, motion, hologram, or even lights. For example, a “citrus” scent has been registered for biofuel; the motion of the Columbia pictures movie title page has been registered for movies; the flavor of “apple cider” has been registered for office supplies; and NBC has registered its distinctive three tones for its entertainment services. It’s thinking outside of the box like these entities that can pay dividends to an innovative company in the long run.

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Published In: General Business Updates, Communications & Media Updates, Intellectual Property Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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