How Valuable is Your Trademark?

March 31st, 2011


List of 500 Most Valuable Worldwide Brands Released

Top Spot Held by Google This Year

Every year, BrandFinance releases a list of the 500 most valuable brands in the world.   The top brand for 2011 is Google, followed by Microsoft.  Walmart fell to the no. 3 spot from its no. 1 position in 2010.  Coca-Cola fell 13 places to no. 16, the first time that it has not been in the top ten for quite some time.

The world’s top ten most valuable brands are:

Source:  BrandFinance® Global 500.  Click here for entire list.

While “brands” are not exactly synonymous with “trademarks”, there is a close correlation in this analysis.  The BrandFinance® Global 500 uses a discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis technique to discount estimated future royalties, at an appropriate discount rate, to arrive at a net present value (NPV) of the trademark and associated intellectual property, which they deem the “brand value.”  This analysis seems to presume that a company could license its marks to third parties for money.

Another way to look at the number is this – given the brand value, if a company’s hard assets are completely destroyed, the company could theoretically rebuild based on the strength of its brand by borrowing funds and pledging its trademarks as collateral.

Are you pursuing a strategy to capture the value in your trademarks and branding?  It is clear that good trademarking and branding can generate and represent significant value for companies in many different industries.  To do so effectively, companies must be diligent to select good marks, seek registrations in countries with significant markets, promote the marks and goods heavily to create the consumer association between the marks and the goods and services, maintain the registrations in force, watch for unauthorized or improper uses that can denigrate the brand value, and “police” the marks to keep competitors (and counterfeiters) away.

MMM can help with the legal aspects of (1) trademark and service mark searching, (2) selection, (3) registration, (4) maintenance, (5) watching, and (6) policing.  Promotion and branding campaigns are easier with good legal protection.

For more information, contact your IP attorney at MMM.

March 31, 2011

John R. Harris