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Copyright is for original works of literature, drama, music, art or intellectual property. Once an
original piece is finished, it automatically receives copyright protection. Copyrights can be
designated by attaching the symbol , the full word copyright, or the abbreviation Copr.
Available to published and unpublished works, a copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to
reproduce the work, prepare derivative works, distribute copies and perform/display the work
publicly. Copyrights require no publication or registration with the U.S. Copyright Office, but
there are advantages of doing so. To register your piece, you can file an original claim to the U.S.
Copyright Office by completing an online registration or filling out the Form CO. Copyrights
do not cover titles, names, phrases or slogans, symbols, designs, ideas, procedures, methods,
concepts or discoveries. A copyrights protection generally lasts for the life of the author(s) plus
70 years.

Trademarks are for words, symbols, devices or names that are used to distinguish the goods of
one manufacturer or seller from that of another. Any distinctive name, symbol, or word is
designated as trademarked with the symbol . The trademark designation notifies others that the
products name and design are the companys property. However, this trademark does not protect
the company from another company that produces a similar product or uses a similar name. If
such a thing were to happen, the original company would have to prove that it produced the
name or design first, but still may not have a legal defense without a registration.
Related Reading: Duration of Trademark Registration

Registration (Or Registered Trademark)

A registered trademark is designated with the symbol . With a registration, a trademark is
protected against another companys use of the name or image. A registered trademark is a
federal and legal registration of the mark. Any future companies wishing to register its own
design/name/image has to check to be sure that it is not like any registered trademarks. If the
image is too similar and is still produced, the company is guilty of trademark infringement.
Trademarks can be registered through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. First, you search
the online database (Trademark Electronic Search System or TESS) to determine that your mark
is not claimed. Once you have determined that your mark is unique, fill out a trademark
application and present a representation of the mark. The registration process can be lengthy,
taking about four months to receive a response to your application. The registration lasts 10
years, but must be verified between years five and six to confirm that the trademark is still in use

TM: The TM sign is used to signal an unregistered trademark, indicating a brand name for a
product (classes 1 to 34). This sign can be designated by the owner indicating their belief of the

SM: The SM sign is identical to the TM sign except that it is used to designate a service mark
(classes 35 to 45).
: The symbol can only be used once a trademark or service mark have been registered by a
country entity or organization. It indicates that the country authority has approved the

: The symbol is used to notify a copyright and can be replaced with the word "copyright". It
is followed by the year of the publication and owner's name and can be used whether or not the
work has obtained copyright registration.

Can everything be Branded?

A brand is essentially something that resides in the minds of consumers through a tedious process called
positioning. Successfully employed postioning and communication strategies envisage a product or
service into a brand. The question as to whether everything can be branded needs some exemplifying of
some behemoth brands that represent the everything that we are referring to. We can recognize the
universality of branding by looking at some different product applications in diverse categories physical
goods, services, retail stores, online business, people, organizations, places, and ideas. Let us take a look
at some of the categories and the successful brands that exist in them.
When we talk about airline services, we often tend to recall Southwest Airlines which has branded itself
as the cheap fare and no-frills service that has been unbeatable over the years. Google (online product)
has ruled the online business since years with its search engine whose mission is to organize the worlds
information and make it universally applicable and boy arent they doing it with immense success. When
we ask for the best retail store, we can only find Wal Mart to be the answer since it is the only retail brand
that there is which owns over 5000 stores and that innovatively introduced the EDLP (Everyday Low
Pricing). Talk about the best educational channel and National Geography pops into our heads, an NGO
which also sells magazines, maps, books, etc. Even sports can be branded and the best instance is
Manchester United which is the favourite football club of many. The club is also a huge brand which is
worth more than $750 million and this worth increases as and when the team performs well and wins as
many championship titles as possible.
It should hence be understood that in reality everything is and can be branded. Youll as well are in fact
brands too as people possess attributes that differentiate themselves from others and hence become a
brand. Some of the renowned people brands could be Warren Buffet (richest man, Obama (first black U.S.
President), Kishore Biyani (retail King), etc. However, the degree of strength of every brand that exists is
variable i.e. some brands are strong and some are weak which depends on the branding strategies adapted.

Can anything be branded? Should everything be branded?

Posted on July 8, 2011 by 1mmarketing
These are two big classic questions that have haunted every branding expert for ages. The first
one is about possibility of branding anything; the second one is about appropriateness of
branding everything around us.
To answer these questions from the fundamental ground of branding, we need to focus on
defining a brand in the first place. While there are numerous definitions, let us choose the most
simple yet the comprehensive one. Branding has necessarily two dimensions that even all
debating scholars will agree upon: (i) identification, and (ii) significant differences from others
within and outside its native category. Evidently, everything around us, including a banana tree in
your backyard that is not branded, has these two characteristics in it. Therefore, anything can be
branded. Now it is upon you whether you would promote this as a brand or not.
Here comes the second question. Should everything be branded? Should that banana tree in your
backyard be branded? From business point of view, you can brand a banana tree, provided the
benefit outweighs the cost. Does that tree have any historical significance for which people will
pay to visit your place and see the tree? Does it have any special feature for which it will
generate revenue? So everything does not need to be branded. Here is a word of caution: having
no branding is like having no face, and having no face is a type of identity and differentiation
that leads to some sort branding! A brand is what it does. Therefore, even if you do not go for
promoting an active brand, whatever you deal with will gradually take over an image
synonymous to a brand. Therefore, even though not everything needs to be branded, it would
be wise to see (and manage) everything by keeping the concept of branding in mind.