We all know a good logo when we see one and we can instantly name the business behind them. Whether it’s some yellow arches, a stylised tick, a piece of fruit or a certain shade of purple.
As your business grows it is prudent to protect your logos and trading names. This can often be achieved by investing in Trade Marks to protect your brand. A good Trade Mark can be an exciting and valuable tool to help exploit the true value of your brand and consolidate your market share. It can also be a healthy addition to your balance sheet.
The correct Trade Mark will help you protect against others in the market “piggybacking” off the hard work you have spent developing your business and brand.
Registering your Trade Marks
A Trade Mark can take many forms. It could be a simple word, the name of your business, a stylised logo, a shape, a sound or even a single colour or colour combination.
At rhw, before our clients apply for Trade Marks we carry out due diligence to ensure the application is likely to be approved. Our due diligence includes investigating whether similar marks (including unregistered marks) already exist and selecting the correct jurisdictions around the world in which to register your Trade Mark, as to ensure you have the correct geographical protection. We will also discuss which areas of trade (or “classes”) you wish your Trade Mark to cover.
It is always hoped our clients’ Trade Mark applications will be unopposed. However, should a party file an opposition at the relevant Intellectual Property Office we can assist in defending the oppositions where appropriate in order to help obtain the Trade Mark registration.
Maintaining Trade Marks:
Obtaining a registered Trade Mark is an important first step to ensuring the Intellectual Property rights subsisting in your brand are protected.
However, it is important that you use your Trade Mark within the classes you applied for and regularly monitor parties who may be infringing your Trade Mark. This is particularly important now given an increasing amount of business is carried out online and potential infringers can popup overnight.
Ultimately, the practical and financial benefit of having a Trade Mark could be significantly reduced if you do not use it effectively, take steps to monitor the market place for potential infringers and take appropriate steps to enforce your Intellectual Property rights against those infringers. Often Trade Mark infringement claims are also brought in conjunction with a claim in passing off.
It is also important to ensure you pay the relevant renewal fees on time, failing which can lose your Trade Mark altogether.
We are always happy to monitor our clients’ Trade Marks so they can get on with running their businesses.
How rhw can help you
Our Intellectual Property Team can assist you with a general Trade Mark filing strategy, applying for Trade Marks and helping you maintain them and enforce your rights once they have been registered.