Knowing the difference between a brand and a trademark is important because, although they are often used interchangeably, the two words have different legal definitions and are governed by different rules and laws as to their use. Each has different benefits to your business and different levels of legal protection in the marketplace. If you are confused about what is your brand and how it interacts with any trademarks you have or plan to apply for, contact one of the experienced trademarks attorneys at Thompson Patent Law to get clarification and a plan of action to protect your profits and your market share. Call us today at (512) 649-1046.
What is a Brand?
Your brand is everything that identifies your business as unique and distinguishes it from other, similar businesses. It encompasses any trademarks that you may have, but also includes intangible elements of your identity as a business, such as your reputation, personality, culture, image, or character, among others.
For example, a company may have a number of trademarked identifying elements such as logos, slogans, and product names and these are part of the brand, but so is its reputation as young and hip, for example, or professional and serious. One way to think about it is that a trademark is always part of a brand, but a brand is not always a trademark. Your stylized modern logo may be a part of your brand that can be trademarked, but your reputation as cutting-edge and cool is part of your brand that cannot be trademarked.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a legal designation that allows an entity the exclusive rights to use a word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, color, sound, or even smell to identify its business in the marketplace, assuming it is unique enough and is clearly associated with the company or product in the minds of consumers. Holding a registered trademark gives the owner legal recourse if a competitor infringes on the trademark by using it or something substantially similar to it in a way that either confuses consumers, harms the reputation of the trademark owner (by supplying shoddy counterfeit products with the trademarked logo, for example), or cuts into the profits of the trademark owner. Trademarks protect elements of your brand from infringement, but they do not necessarily make up your whole brand.
Why is Thompson Patent Law the Right Choice for My Business?
Thompson Patent Law attorneys have over 20 years of experience helping companies build their brands through patents and trademarks. You have worked too hard to build your brand to let another company copy it. Call Thompson Patent Law today at (512) 649-1046 to protect all that you have worked so hard to achieve.