Becker & Poliakoff

Why Should Your Community Consider Trademarking Its Name and Logo?

Why Should Your Community Consider Trademarking Its Name and Logo?

Many communities rely upon name recognition and a certain style logo to attract attention from potential new purchasers as well as to enhance real property values for existing owners.

I live in a country club community that has a distinct font and logo which is intentionally highlighted on our association website, advertisements, business cards, stationary, and, naturally, our community signage. For the sake of this blog, we will call my community Ridgeview Golf Estates. We have spent considerable effort and money over the years to build a certain mystique around the name and the look. What we failed to do, however, was to register the name and logo as our trademark and, as a result, we have had businesses in the vicinity trade on our good name over the years to the point that we now have the Shoppes of Ridgeview Golf Estates (with some less than desirable stores) and neighboring communities who use Ridgeview Golf Estates in their name even though they are not affiliated with my community. Often, well-known communities wind up with local realtors, security and pool companies, and other vendors incorporating the community name into their business name in order to trade on the community’s brand and reputation. By putting their names in the public eye, such exposure can give rise to trademark rights for these businesses which a community can later find difficult to challenge and can also make it harder for a community to later trademark its name in the face of these other trademark rights.