Put simply, every company should have a trade mark and should ensure to have it properly registered at the Patent Office which is based in Newport, South Wales. But why?
- You work hard for your business so make sure it’s fully protected with a trade mark. Failure to do this can expose you to serious risk – particularly from other companies who could use your trade mark to operate from and completely mislead your customers into thinking that they are purchasing from
- Failure to register your trade mark could prevent you from expanding your business. However, once registered you remain at liberty to take any action necessary to protect it. Without it, you have nothing.
- Trade marking your business also increases overall security and is imperative if you consider going into a merger or long term franchising agreement.
- If your business operates across Europe you can also apply for a Community Trade Mark which will fully protect you across the EU. In other countries you can either obtain a local national registration or an international registration (which is basically a single registration extending to a number of countries). However you trade mark, make sure that your business is fully covered for the country you want to operate in.
- Once your trade mark is registered you can prevent other businesses from using it but equally so, you will be protected if someone else attempts to register a mark (even a very similar mark) before you do. It basically keeps you ahead of the game.
- Always remember that if someone else has registered for a similar trade mark then you may be prevented from using yours – regardless of whether it was created or thought of first. This is why any legal advisor will stress the importance of doing it as soon as possible.
- Speaking of legal advice, it’s always advisable to seek advice from someone who specialises in this area since any problems made from the outset cannot be rectified later and may have a detrimental effect on your application.
- Fees for registering a trade mark are £200.00 within the UK or, for a Community Trade Mark to cover the EU will be a little short of £1000.00.
- Once granted, a registration will last for an initial 10 years and you will then be required to pay renewal fees thereafter. Be sure to seek legal advice about this from your advisor and always be sure to keep your renewal up-to-date – particularly if your trade mark is popular!
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