A company’s most valuable asset may be the goodwill associated with its name or the name of its products or designs. Whether it is a reputation for quality or innovation, branding is very important because it designates the origin of the company’s products. It is equally, important, however, to keep others from capitalizing on the goodwill by adopting confusingly similar trademarks.
By properly protecting trademarks early, a company can discourage competitors from adopting similar names and can increase the likelihood of a prompt resolution to any attempts to misappropriate the company’s goodwill. Failing to promptly protect the trademarks, in contrast, can significantly interfere with enforcement of trademark rights in the future. Additionally, obtaining registration of a trademark can help ensure the right to use the mark even if it is later discovered that another party has prior rights. Thus, promptly registering important trademarks is a vital first step for businesses and individuals.