The Importance of Branding and Trademarks in today’s Online Marketplace can make all the difference.

Branding, Trademarks, Patent Protection

Which do you choose? and when?

I asked John Brooks, of John Brooks Law LLC , “John, What are some of the trends you saw in 2019 relating to your industry, that business owners should watch out for in 2020?” Here’s what he had to say….

Brand, Patent, Trademark and the Importance in Today's Online MarketplaceThere is a rising importance of Branding and Trademarks in today’s online marketplace.  Despite the 20-year protection provided by patents, excluding many medical innovations, technology and tastes change so fast that the 20-year term of patent protection is usually overkill.

For Internet Sellers, it is more efficient to protect product through Trademark

For internet sellers, and particularly for sellers over Amazon, it is much more efficient to protect a product being sold by “copiers” through trademark rights (branding) than it is with patents.  It is not a complete solution and patents do help, but it is a very important first line of defense to play “whack-a-mole” with online copy-cat competitors using trademark rights.

What are the Risks of selling on Amazon without a Trademark?

Without a formally registered trademark from the USPTO [United States Patent and Trademark Office], it is difficult to get Amazon’s assistance in removing copy-cats selling products under your brand.  Disciplined branding and trademarking is definitely an initial step to take in anticipation of your products being sold online by copy-cats.

Design Patents can Help Amazon Recognize Copy-cats

The rising importance of Design Patents in today’s online marketplace.  After the initial line of defense above (branding) is exhausted, which is usually the copy-cats start selling your product under a different brand, design patents can be used to help Amazon remove the copy-cat products.  Design patents protect the way a product looks and they are much easier for someone at Amazon to recognize the similarities in the copy-cat product.  Design patents are typically less expensive to file and maintain than other types of patents.  They are also typically granted in a shorter time frame than other types of patents.

How does AI play a role in transactional service tasks?

Artificial Intelligence [AI] plays a role in increasing commoditization of transactional service tasks.  The trend toward commoditization started with the increase in the “supply” of service providers due to the reach of the Internet.  This will continue to increase with the automation of certain tasks through technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.  AI will not remove humans from service tasks but will supplement or replace the more routine tasks while keeping humans in the more complicated components of the task.  In many cases, an AI supplemented human service solution can provide much better results than an AI-only or human-only service solution. Digital Marketing Trends. 7 Industries using AI.

China is developing as the World’s IP Hub

China and Asia are developing as the world’s intellectual property [IP]“hub”.  In 2019, China accounts for the most patent applications in the world. That is more than twice the number of filings in the US. China’s intellectual laws are also different than other countries and knowing them well (local companies) can be a big benefit when operating in China.  Furthermore, local US laws related to protecting US technology and the difficulty in protecting software-based inventions in the US make it more attractive for non-US citizen technologists, even if educated in the US, to develop critical technologies outside of the US.

Another leader in the making… India is coming on strong.


We express many thanks to John “Jay” Brooks III, lawyer and colleague from ProVisor Invite-only members group, for his contribution and expertise on IP practice, Patents, Branding and Trademarks |John Brooks Law LLC | Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks & Business Law for Technology Companies | P (800) 598-6384, Ext. 1 | F (800) 948-9114 |  |

As you know, a big part of marketing is Branding. Branding starts with a logo and colors that branch out across all channels for a consistent look and voice.

we all know how important branding is. And we go to lengths to figure out what to name our business, what we want to associate it with look, voice, values. who are we? what are we doing? how are we helping consumers? how are we helping businesses? How do we protect what we build? We see many knock-off brands.

How do we know when to use a trademark or patent to protect our branding?

This is where legal and marketing join forces. Branding is a huge part of marketing. Do you know when you should patent or trademark your collateral?

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