27 December 2018

What is a Trade Mark?

The official definition, according to The Trade Marks Act 1994, is rather long-winded and incomprehensible (but please bear with me!):

‘any sign capable of being represented graphically which is capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings’

In layman terms this means something that identifies the products/services from one trader to another.

The ‘something’ can be a name, logo, shape, image, sound, even smell!

By having a registered trade mark you are able to defend your rights against another party copying this or damaging the reputation in your brand.

You can also use the ® symbol to show others that your mark is registered and protected.

Do I need a Trade Mark?

If you value your brand then yes!

Businesses spend large sums of money developing, marketing and launching their product/service. Why risk all this hard work and expense by not having brand protection in place.

Defending unregistered rights is very difficult, especially if the business is not established.

• Check your brand name isn’t already being used by another business/individual
• Get legal advice and support, from a trademark attorney or specialist IP solicitor when registering a trade mark – you can apply for a trade mark yourself (in the UK & EU) but this is not a straightforward process and it is not unusual for clients to come to me for help when something has gone wrong due to a part of the process not being completed correctly.

How much do Trade Mark applications cost?

This depends on where you want to apply to (which country/countries) and what the product/service is.

We always ensure we have a clear understanding of the brand first, this way we can provide you with a breakdown of the costs and identify any potential IP issues.

 

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About the Author
Emma Kirkpatrick, CITMA Paralegal & Trainee Trade Mark Attorney
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