Her: “Daddy, why do we call it butter?”
Me: “That's a good question, sweetheart!”
Her: “Why do we call anything anything at all?”
Me: “You need to give things names to differentiate them from one another so when you are looking for butter, you know the item the word signifies.”
Her: “But then why are there like 10 different milks at the store, and even more for eggs???”
Me: “For each one of those butters, milks, and eggs, there are many different owners that sell them. And each one is slightly different. So when you go to the store to buy more eggs, you know which eggs you like. And which milk you like. And which butter you like.”
Her: “Oooooh, now I get it. Each one of the labels shows a different owner!”
Me: “Exactly, sweetheart.”
(The mind of a child is a wonder to behold.)
That is why trademarks matter. So that when a consumer sets out to purchase something (in this case my 8-year-old precocious daughter), they can identify who the seller is. The quality of the good or service is dependent on the one providing it. The whole reason for purchasing something is because it ideally is well made. In order to identify and differentiate one thing from another, the item has to have a label of some kind. Companies go to great lengths to create unique (or at least adequate) brand names so that the public can easily identify their products. The brand name allows the public to seek out a certain product instead of a competitor, and the brand develops a reputation based on interactions with previous consumers and/or the public. In fact, trademark law is the only area of intellectual property that prioritizes consumers interests and not owners. A trademark is necessary because the consumer needs to be able to identify the seller.
This is also why the protection of all intellectual property is so important. Whether it is in terms of a patent, trademark, copyright, domain name, or even just advertisement, the ability to protect the brand name of the company is critical because that is what the public associates with your good or service. The intellectual property is what separates one product from another for every business, whether it is the name of the company, the goods or services being offered for sale, or any other issue affecting the brand or reputation of the company.
It is so basic that it seems to be one of those things that never gets much attention. But understanding how and why the name matters? A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but Shakespeare was talking about love, not business transactions. (We offer no advice on love.) The only way to identify and purchase the brand of rose you want is by looking at the trademark. (I look forward to the day my daughter understands that reference.) It is a fundamental aspect of business transactions, and Peroff Saunders takes great pride in offering effective advice and strategies to ensure every client's intellectual property is protected.