There are three main reasons why you would register your trademark. The first is the most common, and this is to stop your competitors from stealing your brand. A trademark gives you that protection, it gives you the statutory monopoly, so it means if somebody uses your brand for the goods or services that you’re registered for, or for something similar, you can stop them. You’ve got the legal right, and in most cases it works really well. I’ve never seen a case where somebody has a trademark certificate and says to somebody else, “Here’s my certificate,” and the infringer hasn’t automatically stopped without needing to go to court. The only time I’ve seen it actually go to court is where there is a dispute over the trademark ownership or where the trademark is actually not registered.
The second reason is simply value, as having a trademark registration adds enormous value to your business. It adds value if you want investors, if you want to collaborate with people, they know that you’re a good business person because you’ve taken care of your IP and later down the track, if you get to a stage where you decide you need to sell, or you want to sell your business, your business will be significantly more valuable if you have your trademark registered.
The third reason is something that people don’t always think about, it’s protection. A trademark registration acts similar to an insurance policy, if I come with my trademark and I want to sue you for infringement, if you’ve got your certificate, you can say, “Back off, buddy, I’ve got my trademark certificate.” Your trademark registration is a complete defense to trademark infringement action. Having a company name or a business name registered is not a defense to a trademark infringement action.
There are extremely rare cases where your trademark certificate might be invalid. For example, if you have been an employee of that other company and registered the trademark for the company, so there are very rare circumstances where your registration might be invalid. But generally, in most cases your trademark certificate is your protection, it’s your insurance against getting sued by somebody else for trademark infringement and that’s what makes it extremely valuable. My name is Cathryn Warburton and I am the Legal Lioness.