Top Five Brand Names & IP Role

Brand names are everywhere. Some more popular than others. Did you know these brands rely on intellectual property (IP) to help them retain value? In this article, we focus on the top five brand names and how IP plays a factor in their success. According to Business Insider, a leading U.S. business and technology news website, the following five brand names rank the highest.

1. Google. With a brand value of $158.8 billion, Google provides a way for us to communicate, research various topics, and even wear computer technology via its newly introduced Google Glass. Google’s patent grants number more than 9,000.

2. Apple. Apple is well-known for its marketing efforts and innovative technology. As a result, its brand remains one of the most popular and valuable in the world. The brand is valued at $147.9 billion and the company has more than 9,000 patent grants.

3. IBM. IBM is the world’s leading technology company, providing a variety of products including software, cloud computing solutions, modems, and more. IBM’s brand value is $107.5 billion. IBM has been granted more than 43,000 patents.

4. Microsoft. Known as the world’s leading software company, Microsoft owns more than 26,000 patents. Its brand is valued at $90.2 billion. The company’s most popular products include Microsoft Office suite, Internet Explorer, Xbox, and others.

5. McDonald’s. As the most recognized fast food chain in the world, McDonald’s serves nearly 70 million people daily. The fact that this company ranks #5 among technology companies speaks volumes. The McDonald’s brand is valued at $85.7 billion.

As the statistics show, the technology companies show patent activity in the thousands and some in the tens of thousands. Patents can be costly to obtain and maintain. Therefore, it is apparent that patents play an important role in a company’s brand success, especially technology companies that continuously develop new innovations. These patents keep competitors at bay in a very competitive market.

As for McDonald’s, since its main product offering is food, patents are not feasible. Patents are for unique innovations; therefore, food doesn’t apply. However, most people around the world can relate to the company’s famous trademarks, from its burgers (Big Mac), its chicken (McNuggets), its mascot (Ronald), its logo (the Golden Arches), and more. Over the years, McDonald’s continues to add new menu items accompanied with new trademarked names. Furthermore, the company changes its slogan occasionally and even uses several in its ad campaigns. These constant reminders keep McDonald’s a leading brand.

This list of valuable brands names only a few. Thousands of valuable brands rely on intellectual property to help them retain value and gain market advantages.

Redskins Tackle Trademark Issues

Recently, the USPTO cancelled several trademark registrations based on the NFL’s team name. After years of controversy from Native Americans, and most recently politicians, the registrations have been revoked.

Trademarks are one of the most valuable intellectual property assets that a company or organization can have. In fact, some of the most popular trademarks command tens of billions of dollars (e.g., Coca-Cola, Nike’s swoosh, etc.). For over eight decades, the Washington NFL team has enjoyed the benefits of its Redskins trademark. In order to create an effective brand, it can take time, marketing efforts, and money to make it recognized and worthy. Given that the team has been known as the Redskins for more than 80 years indicates how much value the name is to the team.

While the NFL team is likely to appeal the USPTO’s decision, it will still take time and money to get to a final decision. In the meantime, the team has less control over counterfeit products reflecting the team name, much less reaping rewards of infringement. This means it could lose major income from counterfeiters. Further, the controversy remains in the meantime.

The Washington team is in a tough spot with this ongoing debate. If it were to change it’s name, it would have to build its brand all over again. The time, effort, and money to do this would be tremendous. Further, the issue is so controversial that no matter what the team does, there will be those who oppose the decision, whether it is to keep the name or to change it. If it were to change its name, some may not approve or like the new one chosen. If the team is forced to change its name, it could be a costly endeavor. It’s no wonder the team is fighting hard to keep its trademark.