Both Brands and trademarks are important concepts in the business world, not only for big companies but for small business, entrepreneurs and start-ups.
However, sometimes people do not understand the difference between them and use them interchangeably, blurring the meaning of both concepts.
Let’s start setting them apart:
First of all, brand or branding are marketing terms while trademarks is a legal term belonging to the field of intellectual property law.
Branding is the creation of an identity for a company through design, color palette, typography, language, messaging etc. that is used consistently across marketing and public relations items, such as ads, corporate image, promotions, etc.
These identifiers create a relation between consumer and company, which in some cases can be long-lasting and cross borders. A quick example: The Mexican-American communities in the USA are loyal to Mexican brands such as Suavitel, Bimbo, Herdez and others which remind them of their native country.
However, branding goes farther than just a logo design.
In big companies branding can usually be associated with other marketing activities such as market research, positioning, messaging, architecture, collateral
Trademark is part of intellectual property law that relates to the business identifiers such as the names, logos, tag lines, use of color within, etc. and their relationship with another branding in the business environment, in order to protect these identifiers from getting the consumer confused.
Trademark registration in the USA is regulated by a federal agency called United States Patent and Trademark Office and subjected to the laws of the country.
The trademark registration seeks to protect brands from others who may be overlapping elements or outright copying it, creating a legal title for the use of the brand by the owner.
In our experience, we found many branding businesses exclude the trademark services from their offerings. This can become an important issue for brand owners, who may believe that their brand is protected when it is not until is a registered trademark.
It is clear that companies with valuable brands know the importance of trademark monitoring and protection as part of the branding activities and such businesses usually have a trademark attorney or several on board to legally defend their identifiers.
Attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta works with all businesses, protecting their brands through research, evaluation, and analysis, in addition to filing trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Additionally, Mr. Garciaacosta can help you to extend the protection to other jurisdictions such as Mexico, the European Union, Central America, etc. Call us for an appointment at (480) 324-6378.