The UK Intellectual Property Office defines trademarks as the "sign which can distinguish your goods and services from those of your competitors"

Protection

A trademark is likely to be your most valuable business asset, attracting custom while safeguarding the integrity and investment in your brand.

Once registered and in use, this trademark becomes associated with your product or service, thereby providing consumers with an assurance of origin regarding your product.

Trademarks, in short, are a way of making your products or services stand out from the competition, whilst serving as a badge of origin. They can be made up of words, logos, or both combined. For trademarks to be acceptable for registration and your investment in them secure, they must be made distinct from the goods / services provided. This means they should not be made up of words that are common in your industry or frequently used by competing businesses.

To check whether a potential trademark is acceptable, you can perform a trademark search online now.

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Trademark Registration

Once a trademark has been registered, you can prevent competitors from using the same or similar trademarks. Legal action can be taken if there is an infringement in the country where the trade mark is registered. All countries require the trademark to be formally registered as a precondition for pursuing this type of action. Although some countries do recognise common-law trademark rights (meaning legal action may be possible if an unregistered trademark has a substantial reputation), these common-law actions are often expensive and the outcome is uncertain. Relying on a registered trademark therefore has numerous legal and financial advantages.

Trademark Symbols

There are different symbols to use in your trademark registration process: ™ Can indicate a trademark that is currently in the process of registration, but for which the registering process has not yet been completed. ® Can be used once the registration of the trade mark has been accepted, and acts as a signal to all potential competitors that the brand, logo or symbol now has official legal protection.