Trademarks

What is a trademark? It is a form of business property you can and must protect. In fact, trademarks can even become more valuable than your other business assets.

 

 

Examples of Famous Trademarks

Sometimes it can be a bit hard to wrap one’s mind around trademarks. Given this, thinking about examples of famous trademarks can really help codify what they are and their inherent value.

There are millions of famous trademarks, so picking out examples isn’t too hard. Let’s start with perhaps the simplest and clearest ones. What is the trademark of the summer and winter Olympics? The answer should be obvious. It is the five rings. If you see these rings, you know immediately that they are associated with the Olympics.

What about an entertainment brand? I happened to think the Dark Knight movie was great. Heath Ledger was amazing as the Joker. What the heck does any of this have to do with trademarks? Well, Batman is a hugely recognizable double trademark. The first is simply the name. Say the name and everyone knows exactly what you are talking about. Ah, but there is a second mark as well. What is it? Well, what did the police use to let the caped crusader know he was needed? Yes, the bat image in an elongated circle. This is also a trademark.

Can a phrase be a trademark? Of course. Just consider one of the biggest sports apparel companies in the world. If I say “Just Do It”, what immediately comes to mind? The answer should be Nike. If it isn’t, you really need to logoff and get outside for some exercise! Before Nike used this phrase as a marketing tool, it signified nothing. As it was displayed over and over, it became a strong mark associated with their brand, another example of a famous trademark.

Can a single letter or group of them be trademarks? Yes. One needs look no further than the singe “M” that is the logo of McDonalds. Interestingly, the same letter used three times is another very strong mark, but for another company in an entirely different industry. This famous mark is 3M, a multinational conglomerate. Everyone knows of the company, but the trademark has become so dominant that it is the rare person that can tell you what the three m’s stand for. The answer is “Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing”.

Let’s take a look at famous examples of trademarks for specific products. The obvious starting point is Coca Cola. The name is synonymous with a certain type of soda. This is arguably the strongest mark in the world. How so? The name is so engrained with people that many now automatically use the name coke when ordering instead of soda. This is true even if they prefer another brand!

Then there is the iPhone. Use the name and everyone knows exactly what you are talking about. Apple, however, made a mistake with this name in my opinion. How so? Well, they cannot claim a mark for the lower case “I” on its own. As a result, I am sure you have already seen “i” products and services from other companies that may not be of such quality. I swear I saw an “iPants” the other day or some such drivel.

Regardless, these examples of famous trademarks should bring home the value of marks for you. If you are fortunate enough to build a strong mark in your business niche, it can become invaluable. This makes filing trademark applications not only a smart move, but really a mandatory one for every business that is serious about becoming a player in its’ industry.

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