Trademarks: The First Line of Defense Protecting Your Brand (Infographic)
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.
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.The Companies That Apply for the Most Patents and Trademarks (Infographic)
Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.