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Why bother with a trademark?

IP help and practical application from Law Hound

Why you should trademark

Should you consider Trademarking?

Trademarking is the legal process of registering exclusive rights to use a logo or ‘mark’ and enables you to use the ® symbol. It’s the unique identification of your services and/or products. Without registration you can only use the initials TM and have more limited choices to tackle any copiers of your logo or mark. A trademark over time can become an asset of your business and is entered onto your balance sheet as such.

What can you Trademark?
A Trademark covers a word, phrase, name, symbol, logo, images and pictures, or design or a combination of them. It also covers non-traditional/non-conventional things such as colours, smells, sounds, 3D forms or a combination of any of them. Provided it can be graphically registered and can be used as a distinguishing mark, then it can probably be trademarked.

What is the value of registering a Trademark?
Registering your Trademark means there is no doubt as to ownership, age/date of registration etc. A trademark can also be insured with some insurance brokers to protect it, just like any other sort of asset.

Without registration you still have a common law right to protect your mark but this is limited. For example, you may only be able to take action where your mark is used and confuses a buyer that they are buying your goods and/or services. Many businesses consider it an investment against future hassle, theft and larger legal bills in taking a common law action.

Trademarks also assist in counterfeiting cases which is particularly relevant if your branding grows as infringing trademarks by counterfeiting is also a criminal offence.

Is there a benefit in incurring the cost of registering a Trademark?
There are distinct benefits to registration, not only from the search process and protective as above, but since a Trademark IP is a commodity of value, it will normally have an element of goodwill and so can be sold etc.

Before proceeding with an International Trademark you do need to at least have a Trademark pending in UK and/or EU.

Talk to us on 01244 300413 about the right time for your business to register a trademark.

Email to Trademark@lawhound.co.uk

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