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What Trademarks Need Protection?

All trademarks need protection! But, there are some trademarks that are more susceptible to infringement than others. Consumers have numerous options when purchasing goods and services. What makes a company stand out among the rest? What makes you purchase from the companies you do? The most common answer today is good branding supported by good products and services. Most people trust a well-known brand to make a quality product, and branding is more important today than ever before.  But, branding is less valuable without the proper protection. Protection for brands can be accomplished through obtaining trademark registrations.  But, what should you trademark? What is it most important to protect? 

Company Name

The most obvious piece of branding you need to protect is the name of your company and the creative names of any branches or business groups within your company. Your name is how consumers identify that you are the source of your products. Having your company’s name protected also ensures that you won’t need to re-brand down the road due to trademark infringement- the only re-branding you’ll need to do will be by choice.

Company Logo

Besides your company name, the most important piece of branding your company has is its logo. Consumers can identify companies just based off seeing a logo on a bag, an ad, or even an app. Logos can and should be protected through trademark registrations. If you have different variations of your logo, you should have a trademark filed for each variation.  And, if your logos ever change, you should have new trademarks filed to protect those changes.  

Company Catchphrase or Slogan

Does your company have a unique “jingle” that you share on your website? Maybe right underneath your logo? If your company has a slogan, or a unique phrase it uses to identify itself, you should protect it with a trademark registration.  Consumers associate brands with phrases they hear or see repeated on branding materials. Here, think of the Ram Trucks slogan, “Guts. Glory. Ram,” or the Ford Truck slogan, “Built Ford Tough.” 

Unique Product Names and Product Lines

Does your company produce products that have unique names or product lines with unique names? That’s something else you will want to protect with a trademark registration.  Consumers are going to associate your company and your brand with the unique names of their favorite products and product lines. Protect them to ensure you can use them indefinitely. Think of beer manufacturers that have to name their different drafts.  For example, Founders has many unique names for their beers, including “All Day IPA,” “4 Giants,” and “Solid Gold.” They also have unique names for their different lines of beer, including “Year Round,” and “Mothership Series.” 

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