Intellectual property is the most valuable kind of property. The most valuable kind of intellectual property is your brand. With the increasing importance of brand loyalty in company growth, ensuring brand awareness is vital. However even more critical is that this brand awareness be of a positive nature. Unauthorized usage of logos, slogans, and other trademarked content has the potential to do serious harm to the reputation of your company and its bottom line.
The Value of a Brand
Much of modern marketing relies on building the reputation of a company. Building a trustworthy and valuable brand is near impossible if the brand itself is not protected against infringement of trademark. In addition, the financial threat that damage to your brand constitutes is twofold. First, damage to the reputation of your brand has a direct impact on your company. Customers are less inclined to do business with a company that has a tarnished reputation. Investors are likewise less likely to invest in a company whose public perception has been weakened by the misuse of its intellectual property. Indeed even potential employees are likely to discriminate on the basis of company reputation.
The Legal Costs
Second, a failure to promptly challenge any unauthorized usage of your company’s intellectual property can lead to difficult lawsuits. Some courts have found that lack of pursuit and prosecution of infringers of a company’s trademark will lead to abandonment of the trademark. While by no means has this been established definitively, enough courts have reached decisions that lack of prosecution weakens a trademark, or even that lack of prosecution means abandonment, for a lack of prosecution to open up the company to at the very least expensive legal fees for a long court battle or at worst the loss of a trademark despite the efforts of a legal team. Ensuring that your brand is well secured is crucial not only in avoiding extra and unnecessary expenses, but also in simply retaining the trademark.
Many companies staff a trademark attorney for the purpose of pursuing any breaches of intellectual property laws that have the potential to harm the brand of the company. Taking a proactive stance on this issue is required in order to avoid legal battles and even loss of trademark. The costs of a trademark attorney are small compared to the risk borne by leaving your brand and trademarks open for exploitation and loss.
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