Although a balance sheet appears to show the assets (and liabilities) of a business, there are many items that may not appear there. This is usually the case when, like trademarks and copyrights, the assets are “internally generated”. Nevertheless, trademarks and copyrights are of obvious value to a business and therefore, like all assets, need protection.
Trademarks and copyrights, like patents, are recognized as assets or “intellectual property” so that originators can enjoy the commercial fruits of their creativity or invention. A copyright gives an artist or artisan rights to their creation, which may include anything written, music, paintings, sculpture, videos, computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps and technical drawings. A trademark is a defining feature put on a product or business premises and may be used alongside a description of the product in an advertisement or article. A trademark will also protect the elements that comprise your brand, such as domain name, slogans, logos, packaging and product names, as well as other features such as the design of your website. The TM mark may be used without registration; however, the ® mark may only be legally used for a trademark registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
While using an unregistered trademark (with the TM sign) is relatively easy, that ease hides a great deal of complexity. Although unregistered, the TM sign gives the user common law rights to a trademark. This means that anyone who wants to register a trademark must observe someone else’s possible common law rights. To observe those rights requires awareness that they exist in the first place. This typically leads to a process of discovery that can be costly and time consuming.
As you execute your public relations and marketing programs, you will want to ensure the development of logos and trademarks as appropriate identifiers of your brand. You can do so by turning to QualityStocks. We have helped many companies develop their own distinctive styles. We can help sort out those complex intellectual property law issues so that your intangible, creative assets enjoy legal protection.
If you are considering adopting a specific mark as your trademark, the QualityStocks team can assist you in developing a distinctive logo or design for your business and/or products. Contact us today to learn more.