We have said it time and time again: trademarks are increasingly important in today’s digital age. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, appears to echo our urgings when, as reported, he said: “Brands are the solution, not the problem, . . . Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.” He went on to state: “The fundamental way to increase your rank is to increase your relevance. . ."
While Mr. Schmidt is talking about the need for quality content in order to appear relevant within the Google search engine, he also appears to be stressing the need for a reputable brand that consumers will recognize and trust.
There is one way to begin that brand correctly, and that is by filing for a trademark. While common law trademark rights are formed upon the first use of a distinctive mark in commerce, filing for and receiving a trademark registration provides “super rights” and benefits. As the demand for particular products or services grows, it is a consumer’s affinity to a brand, as represented by a trademark or service mark, that will set you apart from the competition and the “cesspool,” as Mr. Schmidt calls it. Moreover, whatever your exit strategy might be, a trademark remains one of the most valuable assets.
Consumers will continue to use Internet search engines to find that which they seek, and it will be the brand they have seen, trust, and respect that draws them to you rather than your competitor. Behind most successful brands is a registered trademark or service mark and a comprehensive trademark monitoring program to ensure that trademark is not misused by others, online or otherwise. Standout from the “cesspool,” as Mr. Schmidt calls it, by properly filing for, acquiring, and protecting your trademark or service mark. Your brand depends on it.