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By Paul William Smith

The notion and value of business brands has exploded in the 20th century. It is now said that a famous soft drink and computer software brand are valued in excess of $65 billion, with the brand of one particular search engine on the internet estimated to be worth around $100 billion.

Promoting and protecting your business’s brand at an early stage is vitally important to the future growth and prosperity of your business. Intellectual property is a crucial method of creating and protecting the rights to a brand.

In particular, registering your trade mark is the principal way of securing your brand rights in a logo or name.

If you have a promising idea for a brand and begin to trade with it prior to registering it as a trademark, you are putting yourself at risk of using a name that somebody else will register. If subsequent business owners are not aware of your existence, because you have not registered your brand name, then they may assume the name is available to register as a trade mark, and proceed to register it. This means you put yourself in a fragile position. Also third parties seeking to free ride on the reputation of a business you have worked so hard to create will be better able to do so.

Registering a trade mark gives you exclusive rights over your brand and is an important tool to capture the value of your goodwill. It can have the effect of acting as a deterrent against infringement simply by being on a public record.

In relation to counterfeit goods, a registered CTM trade mark makes it possible to notify customs authorities to intercept such goods. Also a registered trademark, is a valuable form of property which like any other property, may be sold, or licensed to others.