The trade mark is one of the most important aspects of your business. It helps to differentiate your business from your competitors while developing a recognisable brand that helps to better market your business.
This can be used to great effect to help build a strong reputation around your brand, helping to attract new customers and bring back those that already purchased your products or services.
What is a Trade Mark?
A trade mark is something used to distinguish a product or service your business provides. It can take many forms, but are most typically a word, phrase, slogan, which can relate to your brand or company name.
Another common trade mark is a logo, which also relates to brand or company name, while sound effects, music, and jingles can all be trade marks associated with your business. A trade mark can also combine any of the above.
Why Your Business Should Register a Trade Mark
It is not necessary to register a trade mark for your business, but it always recommended to do so, as registering a trade mark offers the most protection possible for your brand.
This is because when you register for a trade mark it ensures your business has exclusive ownership of it, meaning nobody else can use anything you trademark, whether it is a name, phrase, image, or sound.
Anyone attempting to use a registered trade mark is therefore committing trade mark infringement. When this occurs, you can directly stop them from using your trade mark and seek compensation for any losses caused by the infringement.
If you don’t register a trade mark, then this process becomes much more difficult. A business could start using your unregistered trade mark and even register it themselves, causing all types of legal issues that take time and money to resolve.
You can fight such an issue, but this will be very time consuming and far more expensive compared to simply registering the trade mark before you start using it. Proving that a name, logo, and other unique characteristics is business’s property without a registered trademark is incredible difficult, so it’s always worth registering from the offset.
A registered trade mark is essentially an asset for your business. Yes, it does cost money to register a trade mark (between £1,8000 and £2,500) but when viewed as an investment it is an expense well worth making.
If I Own My Company Name Do I Need to Register a Trade Mark?
Yes! When registering a company name with the Companies House, you only have protection from other companies being created and using the same name. A business could still use the trade mark for trading purposes or as a name for a product.
What if I Have Been Trading with a Name or Logo for Years?
You should still aim to register your trade mark name or logo even if using it for several years. There is some degree of protection using common law, but proving your company owns the unique characteristics of the trade mark is very difficult, not to mention expensive.
What if Another Business Uses the Registered Trade Mark?
As an asset of your business, it is always worth defending a trade mark infringement, with the help of a solicitor being highly recommended. Legal action can be pursued with the aid of a specialist lawyer, who can provide advice on the best course of action to take.