Here we are. We know our company has value and so does the trademark. That means I often look at it through a final set of lenses. Those are succinctly put:
- Increase value
- Other third party considerations (a/k/a Amazon told me to)
Offense: Are we wanting to swat down people trying to pretend they are us? Those darned SCRUBBIEDUB imposters begone! If yes, that means we are going to take proactive measures to do so including take-down demands and maybe even sue. Yes, we will spend the money to do it – sometimes a lot of money. Beware, we are coming for you, you sneaky goodwill thieves! But if you aren’t going to stop those trying to copy you, it may not be worth the expense of getting the big stick of registration.
Defense: We know players in the washcloth field are merciless. They will try to take down our stuff if we don’t have something to show that it is, in fact, ours. But if I have a registration to show, that can stop a lot of that. It is a good force-field to help stop the troll meteoroids coming to destroy our little crocheted world. We may never choose to stop someone else, but it helps make it harder for them to stop us. So maybe we aren’t so worried about enforcement by us, but defending any enforcement against us. That puts a pebble on the side of the scale of registering the mark.
Increase Value: Like I said before, if we are building this thing to be an acquisition target, it may make sense to button up the trademark nationally. It can help show that there is “something” there and increase the value (and purchase price) of the company. If the trademark, however, is likely to be the first thing an acquirer dumps, then a registration doesn’t help here. I do like harping on strategy, don’t I? But trust me, it matters.
Third Party Considerations: A lot of social media platforms want a registration before they will listen to a take-down demand so this can tie in to #1. But Amazon has made it very important to have a federal registration if a company plans to sell on their platform. If we want people to be able to buy SCRUBBIEDUBS on Amazon, then we better pony up the cash for registration. If that is never part of our plan, then what do we care what Amazon wants? Unless, that is, our competitors are selling there, and we want to be able to take down their listings. Then, we care again.
So, yeah, all of that sums up to, “It depends.” It’s a lot of very company-specific facts and desires to analyze and so the answer changes with the company and the company’s dreams, goals, and constraints. Hopefully, this helps you get some perspective as you apply your facts and goals to your marks. Now if you excuse me, I have to go reorganize my yarn stash.