Commercial

Trade Marks

Why is registration important?

One of the most significant problems we see in fast developing businesses is a failure to clearly secure ownership of core IP – particularly trade marks. Trade marks include trading names, logos and new product names. Very often a company will develop a new product range with a new novel name (for example the world famous ''stinking bishop cheese'' - which is registered as a UK trade mark) and omit to consider protecting the new product name, which (if the product becomes popular) can leave an unwanted gap in the brand's protection.

How does registration benefit you?

  • Registering your trade mark can provide financial benefit in terms of licensing revenue, franchise opportunities, increased exit valuations and increased borrowing prospects
  • By registering the trademark in key export markets (and a CTM across the EU), you can lay down the groundwork to protect your brand as you increase your trading network. Once registered, a trade mark provides the owner with monopoly rights in the trade mark so that you can prevent third parties from using an identical or confusingly similar mark in connection with identical or similar goods and services
  • It much easier to enforce a registered trade mark against anyone who uses your mark without permission, thus reducing costs associated with protecting and policing your brand

The registration process

The trade mark registration process is designed to be accessible and facilitate companies to protect their marks by way of registration. However, there are a number of pitfalls in effecting your own registrations, these include:

  • The complexity of drafting the specification and considering the classes within which to protect your product. Far too often we see clients who have not considered the extent to which their trade marks require protection and omitted to include classes which are relevant to their specific products. These may be harder to obtain in years to come when further similar marks become registered and oppose the expansion of the cover of your registered mark. It is therefore imperative to get off on the right foot and ensure that you are covered for your products now and for the next few years as your brand develops
  • We operate a trade mark management system which keeps a record of all of the relevant filing deadlines e.g. renewal dates and priority periods, this lets us worry about trade mark deadlines and enables you to get on with running your business without being concerned that you will miss an important filing date. It is extremely straightforward for us to take over as agent for your trade mark portfolio, and there is no handover charge payable
  • We offer a trade mark watching service to assist you with policing your registered trade marks to ensure that these are not infringed by third parties and to prevent competitors from using identical or confusingly similar marks in connection with identical or similar goods and services

 

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