My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Marketing > Infographics

Trademarks: The First Line of Defense Protecting Your Brand (Infographic)

Trademarks: The First Line of Defense Protecting Your Brand (Infographic)
Image credit: David Joyce | Flickr
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The value of Apple’s brand was $124.2 billion in 2014. Microsoft’s brand was worth $63 billion. And Google’s brand was worth $56.6 billion. That’s big money. Even if your company’s brand isn’t worth as much Apple, Microsoft, or Google, it’s worth protecting.

The most visible component of your brand are the logos, words or phrases that instantly identify your goods and services to customers. Think about the Nike swoosh or Google written in blue, red, yellow and green. These logos, words and phrases are also the easiest part of a business to copy.

Related: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Big Idea

That’s why it’s critical to legally file for protection of these logos, words and phrases with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. By registering your business’s trademarks, you make it illegal for another business to use your proprietary logos and phrases on their competitive products. Your trademarks, then, become your brand’s first line of defense. They are like the alarm system for your house.

Peruse the infographic generated by SmartUp, a legal startup that is building an online platform connecting attorneys and clients, to have a look at how long it takes to obtain a trademark in the U.S., and which U.S. states, companies and foreign countries apply for the most trademarks. The infographic also estimates the value of the biggest brands out there.

Related: How Do You Sustain Your Brand's Value? Follow These 6 Steps.

Click to Enlarge

Trademarks: The First Line of Defense Protecting Your Brand (Infographic)

Related: The Companies That Apply for the Most Patents and Trademarks (Infographic)