Texas businesses looking for ways to create, grow and manage their brands should understand how trademarks can help them do just this.

Businesses in virtually every industry today share the need to properly manage their brand identities. This is of special importance to any Texas company that maintains an online presence. The ability for a brand to sustain damage is all-too easy with just a few keystrokes. Online information can go viral quickly and put businesses on the defensive. When it comes to terms, names, products and services owned by a company, the ability to have a registered trademark gives businesses an essential way to protect against the illegal use or duplication of these important branding elements.

Registration matters for full protection

A company can use the trademark symbol without registering it but there are limited, if any, legal protections that come with doing so. Business Collective asserts that the only real protection comes from having a trademark or a service mark registered. These registrations are for life and can guard against others trying to claim an online domain owned by a company, inappropriately use a product name or term and more. Online and offline, brands can enjoy protection and recourse options if use is violated.

Be clear about the purpose

While Inc. magazine agrees that registering a trademark offers superior protection, it cautions business owners from seeking such registrations without good reason. In addition to concerns about the ability to secure a trademark, companies must give thought to their market and their customer base.

Trademark registrations are best sought when there is a true need and desire to protect a brand and to prevent others from benefitting from work created by a different entity. The level of risk if a term or name is used by others should also be factored in when making the decision whether or not to seek registration for a trademark.

An important brand builder

In addition to protecting a brand, a trademark may also help to build a brand, especially on social media and other online portals. Given this, companies should think about how their audiences may react to any legal actions regarding a trademark. For example, a beer company that attempted to dispute the use by a competitor of a term that is widely used in generic form across the industry caused quite a stir. Eventually, the business listened to its customers and eventually ended the case.

Doing it right

Forbes explains that before an application for a trademark registration can be made, a full legal search on the term must be completed. This can be a very critical step in the process and is one of the reasons that working with an attorney is advised. Our firm works extensively with patents and trademarks for companies in Houston and Dallas and knows what is involved in seeking these protections.