A trademark is an identification sign which is used by a trader to distinguish his/her goods or services from the same or similar goods or services provided by other traders.
Trademarks protect the goodwill you have built-up or hope to accumulate. Trademarks provide an important and effective deterrent to infringement, and a sound basis for legal action if infringement occurs.
It is possible to register as trademarks, words, logos, 3D designs, sounds and some smells.
Here are 10 reasons why you should register your trademark.
- Price – it’s not expensive (only a few hundred pounds for a UK Registered Trademark (RTM) in one class).
- Business asset - it’s an asset to your business, which looks good for investors, banks and when you come to sell.
- Stronger - it’s much stronger than relying on “passing-off” to stop others using the same or similar name or logo.
- ® - You can legally use this symbol with your RTM. It is a criminal offence to use it without the trademark being registered.
- Individuality – it provides a good deal of assurance that your trademark is unique.
- Defence – you cannot be found guilty of infringing someone else’s RTM if you are merely using your own RTM.
- Company name/logo – can be protected with an RTM.
- Domain names – can be protected with an RTM.
- Twitter names – can be protected with an RTM.
- Product name/brand name/logo – can all be protected with an RTM.
There is more information available from the government Intellectual Property Office (IPO) www.ipo.gov.uk. It is possible to apply yourself but it may be best to use a trademark attorney as they are not expensive and will make sure you get the right protection without objections being raised by the IPO during the application process. Trademark attorneys may also be able to offer some initial free advice too.
Lewis Hands is a European Patent & Trademark Attorney at Handsome I.P. Ltd, www.handsomeip.com