Archives For February 2015

Whether you have an existing trademark or are contemplating seeking protection for a mark you intend to use, you may be wondering why it matters and where is the value in a trademark. Well, as various surveys have shown, the value of a brand (which is not the exact same thing as a trademark but it is very close) can be quite high. For example, Google, Apple, and IBM all have brands valued over $100 Billion. Billon, with a “B”!

So, on a more practical level, we want to cover a few items in this post regarding the potential value of your trademark. Keep in mind that the value of your trademark can be linked directly to your goodwill, that is, what power does your mark have in the market to cause individuals to associate your mark with a specific good or service.

Method One – Value Based on Earnings

You can value your trademark by looking at your earnings power. You can look at your company’s past and expected profits as well as at the royalty rates at which you license your mark to other companies. You might also consider the price which you paid to create the mark and the associated goodwill (which is an expense you likely paid over many years while growing your brand).

Method Two – Based on Market Capitalization

Another method, at least for publicly traded companies, is based on the market capitalization of the company. Simply take the number of issued and outstanding shares, multiply that by the market price, and then subtract the company’s liabilities. The resulting number can be attributed to the company’s trademark because investors see the company as worth more than just it’s physical assets and cash flow. That difference can be attributed to the company’s trademark.

Can You Sell Your Mark?

First, you can license (on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis) your trademark to other companies to use your mark on their goods and services. However, you must also maintain some control over the quality of those goods and services or you may lose your rights in the mark.

Second, you can sell your trademark along with your company’s other assets. Essentially, if you are selling your entire company and its assets, you can transfer the name provided you also transfer the associated goodwill.

A Word of Caution

Keep in mind; if you can’t protect your trademark, the value immediately decreases. If other companies can freely use your mark, then there is no reason for them to license or buy the mark from you, and there is no reason for the public to associate your mark solely with your goods and services.

That’s Why a Federal Registration is So Important

The best way to protect your mark is by obtaining a registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or the USPTO for short. The process can take many months but it isn’t overly expensive, if you know where to find help.

At MightyMarks®, that’s all we do – trademark law. We even have a low flat fee filing process to help you save time and to increase the odds of your application being approved.

To learn more, visit us at

Image: Thinkstock/NikWaller
*This article is very general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. Readers with legal questions should consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decisions.

Conducting a good trademark search prior to filing an application is a critical first step that many businesspersons overlook. In a previous post (How to Perform a Trademark Search) we walked readers through various sources they may want to search including common law sources, business name databases, and the USPTO records.

While you can do it on your own, there are a number of advantages to seeking the help of a trademark attorney. In this post we will explore some of those benefits.

Common Law Searches Reveal A Lot of Marks

While the USPTO maintains a very large database of registered trademarks, those are not the only ones you should research. This is because trademark rights stem from first use in commerce, not registration. As a result, you should always conduct a common law trademark search to see what marks are being used in commerce already.

A trademark attorney will know where and how to conduct this kind of a search. You should be looking online, in newspapers, magazines, and other sources. Additionally, a trademark lawyer is uniquely qualified to examine each potential mark to see who uses it, where they use it, when they first started using it, and whether their use is in connection to any similar goods or services you seek to provide. They can then weigh in on whether you have good rights or not.

Business Name Records Can Be Misleading

A trademark attorney can also search state business name records. Sometimes a registration for a business name or fictitious name can cause conflict and may prevent you from having strong rights. However, an experienced trademark attorney can look at additional details regarding these files to see if the name is still in use, if it has been terminated, as well as whether the use constitutes use in interstate commerce.

USPTO Records Are Complex

Lastly, a trademark lawyer can perform an exhaustive search of the USPTO database. Most basic searches will reveal many results and an attorney can help to narrow your search to look for marks that might be confusingly similar and in the same international class as your mark. Her or she can also use judgment in deciding what other searches must be ran, such as design code searches and searches for similar or misspelled words.

Then What?

After conducting these thorough searches your trademark attorney can advise you on the odds of obtaining a registration. While it is often difficult to put odds in writing, a trademark lawyer can offer good guidance on when you should not file an application due to a likely denial.

That can save you a ton of money!

If you want help searching for existing marks or filing a trademark application with the USPTO, be sure to check out Our online platform, coupled with years of trademark experience, make us uniquely qualified to help businesses protect their trademarks.

Image: Thinkstock/Woodkern
*This article is very general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. Readers with legal questions should consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decisions.