A major benefit of registering a Trademark is the exclusive right to use the Trademark, which comes with registration. Ownership of a registered Trademark bestows an exclusive right to use the Trademark with or on ALL similar goods and services. This exclusive right restricts other people, companies and businesses from using your Trademarked term or logo on similar goods and services. This exclusive right can be a powerful tool in the marketplace.
For example, POPSICLE is a registered Trademark of Unilever and only Unilever has the authority to use the word POPSICLE when selling, advertising and promoting frozen treats on a stick. This means that the word POPSICLE is off limits to any other person or company selling frozen treats on a stick. POPSICLE cannot be used on other companies’ product names, blogs, napkins, merchandising, or advertising. As you can see, this carries a lot of weight in the market place against competitors. The unauthorized use of the mark POPSICLE recently put a small shop in Brooklyn in a bind when they started making and selling a product called ‘People’s Popsicles.’ Since the shop did not have permission from Unilever to use the POPSICLE trademark, the shop had to rename their product, print new merchandising, and erase every use of POPSICLE from their menu and blog.
Exclusive use rights that come with owning a registered Trademark are powerful. Don’t underestimate their value in the market place.
BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.
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More information on this subject: ‘NAME Brand’ – Using your Name as a Brand and Trademark; Is Unilever’s Popsicle Trademark Melting Away? at http://www.kasterlegal.com/storage/NYSBA%20Electronically%20In%20Touch.%20%20Article%20by%20Vanessa%20Kaster.pdf and http://www.nysba.org/Content/NavigationMenu24/ElectronicallyInTouch/2010Issues/September2010/default.htm; @iplegalfreebies and www.kasterlegal.com