Tips For Creating a Strong Trademark
In short, all new businesses should register a trademark. A trademark will serve as a badge of origin and in addition to protecting your business, it can help you to stand out from the crowd.
Many people don’t realise that simply having a company name and registering this name on Companies House doesn’t mean their brand is secure. Registering a trademark is the only way to protect your chosen company name from infringement and to also ensure that you’re not infringing on other companies’ rights. We have seen many situations before where new start-up businesses have to change their chosen name because they didn’t check whether their name was free for use and did not apply for a trademark before registering at Companies House. This can result in a time-consuming rebrand and sometimes even costly legal action being taken against them.
Trademarks can be made up of words, logos or both combined and we highly recommend that you think about trademarks when deciding on the branding for your company. If you have just started a new business and you’re wondering how you create a strong trademark, below is some useful advice from the Trademark Eagle team.
Create Something Distinctive
Whenever you’re choosing a name for your business, or products, you should select a name that is as unique and distinctive as possible. The words you choose shouldn’t be used by competing businesses or be similar to existing brands.
When you think outside the box and choose a distinctive trademark, there is less of a chance that another company will already have the same name, so your trademark registration is more likely to be successful. Generally speaking, words that are frequently used in your industry can’t be protected unless they’re combined with more distinctive words.
Although it can be tempting to look at competing businesses for some inspiration, this can be counterproductive. We would advise that instead, you brainstorm some unique ideas that relate to your company but don’t describe your products or services. You can even use made-up words when creating a new company trademark and this is often the strongest form of trademark.
Do Some Research
It’s important to note that not every trademark is permissible. There are a few key rules for registration that all new companies should be aware of when trying to decide on a name. In addition to words that are frequently used in the industry and words that describe products or services, there are a few other words that aren’t usually accepted when registering a trademark.
Your chosen company name shouldn’t be made up of words that may be deemed offensive, in support of illegal activity or misleading to the public. There are also some protected words and symbols that you should avoid – names of members of the Royal family as examples. Trademarks that contain geographic indications may give rise to queries from the registry. As an example, if you are adding LONDON to your trademark then you may have to confirm that all your products are from “London” and limit the description of your trademark accordingly.
If you have come up with a name that you think meets all registration rules and criteria and that everyone has agreed on, we would advise that you check for things like available domain and social media names too. In this digital age, having a website is a key part of marketing campaigns and you need to ensure that a suitable domain name or social media handle is available.
Use a Trademark Search Tool
One of the quickest and easiest ways to check whether your new trademark is unique is to use an online trademark search tool. The search tool on the Trademark Eagle home page is free to use and you can conduct as many searches as you like to check for existing registered trademarks and ensure your name is available for you to use.
When you use a search tool, make sure it has up-to-date information from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), so that you are using the most relevant information. A reliable trademark search can help to reduce the likelihood of your trademark application being rejected and help you to avoid the legal costs associated with objections to your application.
It’s beneficial to conduct a few searches with your chosen name. For example, as well as searching for the exact trademark, break it up into individual words and search for each of these. Also search for both singular and plural spellings, and phonetic equivalents. We have a Trademark Search and Application Toolkit which has a range of useful information to help you to choose a good trademark and then conduct searches to check its availability. Doing your due diligence now will help to prevent problems with your trademark registration.
Get Some Professional Advice
For additional peace of mind, we recommend speaking to a trademark specialist before starting an application. Trademark Eagle offers an expert trademark review as part of every UK and EU trademark application, and we conduct a more extensive search for conflicting trademarks.
This additional search is essential in our view as it extends the search to similar marks in the relevant classes and provides valuable information about the acceptability of your trademark under the current law, with our recommendations. This can help you to avoid common problems with trademark registrations and enables you to make any required changes before you apply to register your trademark, improving the chances of a successful registration under the current law and preventing you from wasting your money.
Registering a New Company Trademark
Hopefully, the information above will be beneficial if you’re currently trying to come up with a strong trademark for your business. Using these tips to help you create a new trademark can make the registration process much more straightforward, so you can successfully register your trademark and protect your business.
If you have any questions about creating a trademark, contact us at Trademark Eagle today. We have protected thousands of trademarks in the UK, EU and internationally, and we have a 99.5% success rate for filed registrations. Our team of experts have extensive knowledge of trademark law and are always happy to help.