Five Reasons to Register a Trademark
The goods and services that your business provides are unique to your business. In order to distinguish and grow your brand of goods and services, you will want a mark that clearly identifies your products or services. The first step should be to speak to an attorney specialising in trademark clearances and disputes about the procedure to follow in registering such a mark.
However, to give you a deeper understanding of the value of trademark registration, let us look at the reasons to register a trademark, as can be done with the help of a lawyer working with trademark clearances and disputes.
- Exclusive Use of the Mark
Unless you register the trademark, other companies can use the mark to identify their products and services. Indeed, many of the disputes about trademarks are about companies that have used particular marks for a long period, but suddenly find that other companies also use the same marks. Before registration can take place, one has to conduct a trademark clearance search, which is best handled by an attorney who knows how to use the trademark search and database facilities.
A trademark provides you with the right to take legal steps against a party for infringement on your intellectual property rights, if that party uses the mark or one very similar to it within the same industry for similar types of products or services. Once registered, you can get an interdict against the infringing party to prevent further use of the mark. Having a registered trademark will help you, should any disputes arise regarding the use of the mark.
- Security for a Loan
A registered trademark is an intellectual property asset. It adds value to your company and you can use it as security for a loan. As such, it has value similar to other important assets, such as buildings. Speak to an attorney specialising in trademark clearances and disputes regarding the value of intellectual property as security for a business. The trademark, for instance, forms part of the asset list of the company to be used, should you wish to sell your business. It certainly ensures a higher goodwill price for the business.
- Assignment to Another Party
You can assign the trademark rights to another party by means of an agreement and have it registered on the trademark register as such. You can licence another party to use the mark according to the requirements of the license agreement and thereby generate additional revenue for your business.
- Deter Others from Using the Mark
The mark is registered and is to be used according to the requirements of the law. By putting the registered sign of ® after your product/service name for which it has been registered, you deter others from using the mark and/or trying to copy your products or services.
- Register the Mark in Other Countries
It is best to speak to our team of lawyers regarding international trademark clearances and disputes, but for general information purposes, you will be glad to know that registering the trademark in South Africa forms the basis for registration of the mark in various countries around the world.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Contact our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the content to make legal decisions – May 2018.