The most valuable trademarks

Authors:  Inga Lukauskienean Associated Partner, an Attorney-at-Law and a Patent Attorney in METIDA, Mykolas Jakutis, an Assistant to Attorney-at-Law in METIDA

metida20A trademark is a symbol consisting either of words or a logo that helps to distinguish goods and services from one producer to another.

A high value of a trademark helps a company to achieve a competitive advantage over its rivals. Popular trademarks are well known to the consumers who usually stay loyal to the famous brands. Therefore, companies bearing well-known trademarks spend less on marketing. Since consumers tend to expect to find goods of famous brands in shops, negotiating with retailers should also be advantageous for a company with a famous trademark. Furthermore, assorting goods should be much simpler for a company whose trademark gives confidence to consumers. Importantly, a company bearing a famous trademark is able to avoid falling into a price war.

Trademark value adds value to company’s produced goods or provided services. Additionally, added trademark value might help a company to sell products for a higher price, decrease expenses on marketing and attract more costumers.

A trademark is a permanent property of a company. Thereby, it needs to be cherished and treasured, and companies should invest their resources into it. That being the case, a company becomes able to use its trademark longer and more effectively. A trademark is as important to the success of a company as its any other property, since it increases the number of trading opportunities and promotes other advantageous strategies.

There are various definitions on a trademark value, yet all of them provide the main criteria for such definition:

  • A financial value which is additional income to a company gained by selling a product that bears a well-known trademark (the same product without a trademark does not give rise to such incomes).
  • Intangible value which cannot be measured neither by price, nor by product’s quality’s evaluation criteria. In other words, a trademark is intangible property as it contributes to the popularity and reputation of a product.
  • Imaginary value is a predicted combination of a quality and image disregarding other characteristics of a product.

The most valuable trademarks

According to ‘Brandz Top 100’ statistical research on the most valuable trademarks conducted by Milward Brown, the value of trademarks of famous international companies was increased even at the time of economic crisis. This research suggests that the most valuable trademark belongs to Apple, which was estimated to be worth 183 milliard US dollars. The price of the trademark has risen up to 19 % more in comparison to the previous year. The second most valuable trademark belongs to IBM which was estimated to be worth 116 milliard US dollars. The price of this trademark has increased up to 15 % since last year and therefore has jumped up from the third place. The third most expensive trademark is Google which was estimated to cost 108 milliard dollars.

Other companies that are included in the top 10 list of the most valuable trademarks are as follows:

  • McDonald‘s (95,2 milliard);
  • Microsoft (76,7 milliard);
  • Coca-Cola (74,3 milliard);
  • Marlboro (73,6 milliard);
  • AT&T (68,9 milliard);
  • Verizon (49,1 milliard);
  • GE (45,8 milliard).

Millward Bown’s findings also indicate that from 2006 to 2012 the value of 100 most expensive trademarks increased up to 66 %. The whole value reached 2.3 trillion US dollars. Further information on this research could be found here.

The most valuable trademarks in Lithuania

Only a small body of literature has investigated Lithuanian trademarks, particularly their worldwide popularity. Therefore, it can only be vaguely predicted which of the Lithuanian trademarks are the most popular and mostly valued in the world. Despite this, it is important to mention that Lithuania is the first country among Baltic states that in 2007 gave out the list of the most valuable trademarks.

In 2007, international trademark arbiter ‘Superbrands’ presented the list of the most valuable trademarks in Lithuanian market. The list is called ‘Lithuania Superbrands 2007’. Trademarks that could be found in this list distinguish from others in successful stories, great value, uniqueness and success in the market. Only 28 out of 200 trademarks known to Lithuanian market received Superbrand nominations.

Examples of some companies that could be found in the list are as follows:

  • Food manufactures (Alita, Jacobs, Karūna, Manija, McDonald’s, Pieno žvaigždės, Vichy);
  • Telecommunication companies (Bitė, Labas, Omnitel, Teo);
  • Shopping centers (Akropolis, Maxima, BMS Megapolis, Topo centras).

However, a lot of companies awarded by Superbrand tend to avoid disclosing the economic value of their trademarks.

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