Early Internet marketers disseminated misinformation leaving many Internet businesses with weak or no brand protection. Marketers in their quest to secure easy search rankings, as well as domain resellers seeking to drive up prices, failed to communicate this important message: A generic term will never be a trademark or brand for the product or service being sold.
Clients and marketing professionals are often confused as to the difference between registration of a domain name and registering a trademark or service mark. Domains names are not trademarks. A domain is nothing more than an Internet address, much like the street address where you live. Domain names do not afford protection against use of the domain name for competitive products or services unless separate trademark rights are established and registered.
Intangible assets are the most valuable of most businesses. On average, 70% of the purchase price paid to acquire U.S. businesses is for these intangible assets, with over 50% being for the brand. Yet, they are often the most neglected.
These intangible assets, often referred to as “goodwill,” are extremely valuable and need to be legally protected.