You have invested hours in promoting your business, setting up your website, winning clients and building up a name for yourself. But have you protected your name? If not then you might like to consider a trade mark registration. The last thing you need is a new company coming along, stealing your name and riding off all the goodwill you have built up.
By having a trade mark registration you have all the evidence you need to stop them using your name. Without one you enter the realms of ‘passing off’ which would involve a costly court case.
So…if your name or logo is important (and for most businesses it usually is)…then a trade mark registration is your best protection.
It’s a super simple process and means you can ring fence your brand (be it name or logo…or both) to prevent other people using the same or similar name for the same type of services/goods.
There are a few steps you need to take first before filing your trade mark application at the Intellectual Property Office. Let me explain…
Step 1: Do a quick Google search – is there anyone out there already using your name?
Step 2: Consider what class of goods/services you want your name to be protected under. The IPO has some helpful hints for deciding the classes.
Step 3: Check the trade mark registers at the IPO to see if there is already a trade mark registration for the same or similar mark in the same class of goods/services.
Step 4: Consider how you wish to register your mark. Do you want to protect the word? Is there a logo? Do you want just one trade mark for the word and logo together or do you want to widen your protection by having two registrations for the word and logo separately?
Step 5: Complete your online trade mark application and pay your fee to the IPO.
Step 6: Sit back and wait for the IPO to examine your mark, advertise your mark and then hopefully if that all runs smoothly wait for your trade mark certificate to arrive in your in-box.
Step 7: Start using that registered ® symbol and keep your eyes peeled for anyone encroaching on your brand!
Aubergine is here to help you with any of these steps. We offer (1) a trade mark checking service; (2) advice on how to register your mark; and (3) we can manage trade mark applications on your behalf too. We are passionate about trade marks and love to see our clients receive their trade mark certificates – a piece of property and some armoury against free riders! Do get in touch if we can help you or you have any questions.