Does Your Business Really Need A Trademark?
c. There’s nothing worse than launching a product only to find that the brand belongs to someone else and you then have to change it, with all the associated costs and difficulties of finding an alternative name.
The UK Intellectual Property Office defines trademarks as a “sign which can distinguish your goods and services from those of your competitors” and a trademark can be made up of words, logos, colours, sounds or a combination of these. Registering a trademark will protect your business for the foreseeable future. Although trademark registration isn’t compulsory, it’s extremely advisable and your trademark will become one of your most valuable assets.
One of the questions we’re most commonly asked at Trademark Eagle is; “why do I need a trademark?”. Since there are fees associated with a trademark application, some business owners wonder whether they really need a trademark and if it’s something they can go without. To prevent new business owners from making a big mistake, below our team has listed some of the main reasons why your business needs a trademark.
Secure your chosen company name
You may find that if you don’t register a trademark for your business, you have to change your company name in the future. It’s a huge misconception that when you register your business with Companies House, your company name will be protected, but this isn’t the case. Although you can’t register with a company name that is identical to a name that matches one already on its database, it is often possible to register something similar – so, we have Trademark Eagle Limited as our company name – but Companies House would likely accept Trademark Eagle International Limited if someone else applied for this. We would be able to object to the new company name based on our trademark registrations for TRADEMARK EAGLE. It’s important to understand that even if your secure registration of your name for your company at Companies House – this does not mean it’s free for use, or that you will be able to register it as a trademark.
Registering a trademark for your company name is the best way to prevent another business from adopting either a competing company name, or a competing trademark. Once you have suitable trademark registrations, you won’t have to worry about the hassle associated with changing your company name and rebuilding your brand.
Prevent your products or services from being copied
Unfortunately, if your business is successful, there is a chance that other businesses will imitate you in order to boost their own sales. Without registering a trademark, it can be very difficult to stop unauthorised users from copying your brand and you would have to have a substantial/exclusive reputation in the trademark, which has accrued over several years. The dangers of unauthorised third parties using your branding include loss of revenue, dilution of your trademark, association with unauthorised and sometimes unsavoury third parties and importantly damage to reputation as not all goods/services are of equal quality.
It’s crucial to be aware that copyright and trademarks are very different, and copyright might not protect you in the way you think it does. Copyright is inherent in artistic/written works, so think of a book, a photograph and parts of a website. There is no official copyright Registry in the UK or EU. But you can register your trademark for the name of a product, the name of a book and also the domain name of many websites would be registered as trademarks. When you register a trademark, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are able to take action cost effectively to prevent the name, logos and possibly the colours of your products from being copied by competitors.
Protect your brand’s reputation
It is so easy for other businesses to damage your brand and when you’ve worked hard to build a reputation, the last thing you want is another business using your name without your agreement. Anyone can use your brand without permission and if you’re not legally protected by owning a registered trademark then preventing the unauthorised and harmful use of your name or logo by a third party, can be expensive and difficult. You can rely on a registered trademark for the first 5 years after its registration, even if you have not used it. Whereas if you have not registered it and you do not have substantial use of it, then you may be unsuccessful against a third party.
When you make a trademark application, you will essentially be building a barrier around your brand and making it more difficult for others to damage your reputation and business. Your trademark can help you to distinguish your business too and ensure customers aren’t put off your brand by imitators.
Ensure you can take action against third parties if required
As we have said, attempting to take legal action with an unregistered trademark is incredibly difficult and the best piece of legal advice we can give to any new business owners is to register a trademark as soon as possible. It is so much easier to enforce your rights and take action against third parties using your trademark without your permission when it is correctly registered.
As a trademark owner, you will also be able to make objections against future trademark applications that conflict with your trademark interests. Ensuring other businesses aren’t adopting competing trademarks can prevent your future success from being hindered.
Register a trademark for your business today
Ultimately, the simple answer to the question ‘does your business really need a trademark?’ IS YES. Registering your trademark isn’t something you should overlook and you can guarantee that trademark registration is always a worthwhile expense. If you’d like some assistance making a trademark application, contact us at Trademark Eagle today. Our four easy online trademark registration steps will make the whole process as hassle-free as possible, and you can rely on us to ensure your application is filed at the relevant Registry.
Here at Trademark Eagle, we understand that trademark law is extremely complicated, and our team is on hand to help you ensure your business has adequate protection. Our professional staff include qualified trademark attorneys and solicitors, and we specialise in UK, EU and International trademark protection and we can provide you with the expert advice you need should you encounter any problems with your trademark. With over six decades of combined experience behind us, we can assure you that you will be in very capable hands when you use any of our trademark services.