In today's fast-paced environment, you have to be very careful about how your brand is presented to consumers. If you don't have a registered trademark, you could be losing money, leaving money on the table, or leaving yourself vulnerable to lawsuits!
Here are just a few impactful things you may not know about what can happen if you DON'T register your brand:
Others can steal your brand or limit your growth (Reason 1): Take for example, the ballad of Burger King: how the king lost his crown. The original Burger King began in Illinois. Shortly after, a different Burger King opened in Florida and registered its trademark with the United States Trademark Office. The Florida company grew and grew, until they ended up in Illinois. The original sued. The court ruled that the original could only control a 20-mile radius around the first location. More importantly, the Florida group was free to expand their Burger King all over the USA.
It Scares Potential Investors away (Reason 2): Buyers want to know they are making a sound investment! If you are looking to raise capital, and maybe even sell later, showing investors you are on top of your business is important. Without a registered trademark, an investor could be turned off by fear of costs of re-branding, loss of reputation, loss of a stable customer base, or even litigation – making it easier for them to tell you “no.”
You are More Likely to Be Sued (Reason 3): In order to infringe on a trademark, the name need only be “confusingly similar,” not the exact same. Without properly researching your brand - whether a name or a logo - a registered trademark owner could sue you for infringement! They can force you to take everything down, change your brand name, and pay them any profits you have made.
You'll spend a fortune trying to shut down copycats (Reason 4): Possession is nine-tenths of the law! With a registered trademark, everyone must assume you are in possession of the best rights! That means that a judge must start by assuming that you win... How great would it be if everything in life was that way?