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What Trademarks Should You Protect?

When you begin the process of protecting your brand assets and intellectual property, it can be difficult to understand which of your trademarks you should protect with a trademark registration. Filing trademark applications for unique aspects of your brand can deter competitors from using similar names and designs.

The following list covers the five most important trademarks you should consider registering with the USPTO:

1. Name of a business

The most important trademark to protect is the name of your business. This should typically be protected before you even open your doors, but if haven’t already, it should be your top priority.

Examples: Kodak, Nike, Spotify

2. Names of products/services

In a close second as far as priority is concerned, any names of products or services that differ from your company name can be protected with a trademark registration.

Examples: Air Jordan, iPod, Big Mac

3. Logos

Logos can also be protected with a trademark registration. Logos should typically be filed in a separate application. This way, if those logos ever change, the underlying name is still protected by a separate registration.

Examples: Nike’s swoosh, Starbucks’ Siren

4. Slogans

Another trademark to consider protecting is your company’s slogans. For example, Nike has a trademark registration for their iconic “Just Do It” slogan. If your company has a similar tagline or slogan, that can be registered as a trademark.

Examples: Just Do It, Have It Your Way

5. Trade dress

One of the most interesting things you can register as a trademark is trade dress. If you’re selling products, your product packaging could actually be protected by a trademark. If you’re running a service-based business and someone walks into your store, and there’s a particular look and feel, that look and feel can be protected by a trademark registration called trade dress protection.

Examples: In-N-Out’s store layout, Maker’s Mark wax seal

As you can see, there’s a lot of different trademarks that any given business can register. The great thing about trademarks is that they are intangible property, meaning that once they are registered, they become an asset to your company. If you’re ever looking to sell your company in the future, having as many trademarks registered as possible will drive up the value of your company.

If you have any further questions about trademarks that you can protect for your business, please feel free to contact us.

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