A trademark is another term for brand or brand name and it is essentially the identity of a business. It can be any name, word, symbol, slogan, or device that identifies and distinguishes a business or product from others that are currently present in the market. When you have trademarked your business, you have the right to legally protect yourself and stop any parties from using or making an attempt to use something similar enough to confuse consumers.
When consumers make purchasing decisions they are, to a certain degree, influenced by trademarks and the reputation such brands represent. Business people should have an understanding of why trademarks are important assets and that they are essential tools to help grow their business. Here are five reasons why trademarks are important to your business.
1. A Valuable Asset
Over time, your trademarks will become more valuable to you. The more your business reputation grows, the more valuable your brand will be.
Trademarks provide value beyond your core business and can help the efforts of expansion from one industry to another, such as from personal care to wearable items. Your trademark can also lead to your business being acquired by a larger corporation which may or may not be of your interest.
2. An Effective Communication Tool
Trademarks are able to convey intellectual and emotional attributes and messages about you, your company, and your company’s reputation, products and services. Your trademark does not need to be a word. It can also be designs that can be recognized regardless of language or alphabet.
If you are able to produce an effective and memorable trademark, whether it is a design or slogan, there is a possibility for you to be recognised globally and transcend the limitations of language and geography.
3. A Way to Help Customers Find You
The crowded and ever-growing marketplace makes it hard to distinguish one business from another. As has been mentioned before, trademark is an efficient commercial communication tool and it helps to capture the attention of both current and potential customers. In short, trademarks able to make your business, products and services to stand out from your competitors.
When customers see a trademark, they can immediately identify who they are dealing with. Customers will know the reputation of your business and if it is good, they are less likely to look for alternatives. Your brand could be the critical factor in affecting a customer’s purchase decision.
4. Impacting the Internet and Social Media
Your trademark will be the first thing customers enter into a search engine or social media platform when looking for your products and services.
When there is high traffic on your website or social media platform, this is bound to translate into higher rankings which will ultimately result in even more traffic, customers and brand recognition for your business.
5. An Inexpensive Protection
Trademark is a better alternative if you, as a business owner, want to avoid huge investments for expansion yet still reach a great audience. The total cost for registering a trademark is RM 330 for e-Filing and RM 370 for manual filing. The period of protection for a trademark is 10 years, commencing from the date the filing is made. Therefore, you will only need to renew the registration every 10 years.
It is also important to note that trademark protection is territorial in nature, thus if you registered the mark in Malaysia, your mark is only protected in Malaysia.
Trademarks are a critical asset. Before you invest a lot of money and time in launching a new brand and begin promoting and marketing your brand, you should firstly conduct a trademark search. This is to ensure that the trademark you intend to use is available for registration, does not infringe anyone’s rights, and does not go against any existing laws.
Failing to research a brand before adopting it can lead to denial of registration by the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) or, worse, a cease and desist letter from another brand owner.
In a nutshell, owning a trademark is highly recommended for your business as it differentiates your products or services from others in the industry. Keep in mind that you should choose a name and logo that distinctly identify and convey the essence of your business. Not only does it give protection to your business but it will also help to create a presence within the industry and to your customers.