When we buy a property, we usually take great care to ensure it is registered in our name. Similarly, we should attach the same importance to registering a trademark.
First of all, let's clarify a point that is often misunderstood: a trademark is not "patented", but "registered". Although both trademarks and patents are part of Industrial Property, they are not the same and should not be confused.
A trademark is a distinctive sign that serves to differentiate a product or service from those of the competition.
A patent is an innovative creation, whether of a product or a procedure, with industrial applications.
With this clarified, having our trademark registered, while not a mandatory procedure, is an issue that should be very much considered when running a business. It is a fundamental step for the safe commercial use of the trademark.
Why is it so important to have our trademark registered?
Firstly, to protect our interests. Undoubtedly, the main advantage is having exclusivity in using our distinctive sign and preventing third parties from marketing identical or similar products and/or services under the same or a confusingly similar name that could confuse consumers and even affect our reputation if the competitor's quality is inferior or deficient.
A trademark also adds intangible value: it increases the value of our business. Consumers value reputation, image, the trust generated, and the set of qualities associated with a specific brand, and for these reasons, we are willing to pay more for a product from a recognized brand.
It's important to remember that rights to a trademark are acquired from the moment it is registered.
Therefore, if we do not have it registered, there is a risk that a third party could register it first, taking advantage of its unprotected status. From that point, this third party could legally prevent us from continuing to use it, even if we have been marketing it for a long time.
We might think that this won't happen to us. Unfortunately, such situations are more common than they may seem at first, and there's little that can be done if we don't have it officially registered.
In conclusion, if you have not registered your trademark yet, the advice is to rectify this as soon as possible. Doing so can save you more than one headache.