Legal Basics of Your Brand Identity

Legal Basics of Your Brand Identity

A distinctive brand identity, differentiating you from your competitors, is helpful in legally protecting your brand. Names, symbols, taglines, slogans, product design, color and sound are all brand identity assets that can be registered and protected from future litigation.

Legal Basics

  • The more differentiated your identity is from those of your competitors, the easier it is to protect from a legal perspective.
  • Registering a mark gives you extra rights and protection.
  • Registration is done at federal and state levels. State registrations are usually less expensive than federal registrations but are more subject to challenge.
  • Protection for marks in other countries must be sought country by country since legal protection differs from country to country.
  • An individual, a corporation, a joint venture, or a partnership can own a trademark and cannot have two independent owners.
  • Certain industries require state registrations and designated commissioners.

Denotation of Symbols

mark_registration.gif The Registration Mark may only be used when marks have been federally registered.
mark_tm.gif TM is used to alert the public and does not require filing federal applications. It means "trademark", which is a claim of ownership for goods and packaging.
mark_sm.gif SM appears on any form of advertising and promotional literature. It does not require filing federal registration.

Differentiate yourself and register your brand before you end up like these companies:

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