In their most basic form, trade marks are words, slogans or logos used to distinguish the goods or services of one person or company from those of another. They can be an incredibly valuable asset when looked after and deployed properly. Some important points to note about trade marks are set out below:-
Although it is sometimes possible to accrue limited rights in a brand automatically without registering a trade mark, these rights can be far more limited than could otherwise be obtained with a trade mark registration and can also be much more difficult and costly to enforce. In contrast, by registering a trade mark it is possible to obtain the benefit of much stronger protection.
So long as periodic renewal fees are paid (every 10 years in the UK) trade mark registrations can be renewed indefinitely meaning that the benefits of any brand built up around the trade mark can be enjoyed for as long as required.
Registering a trade mark is a quick way of obtaining strong rights in a brand. Building up strong unregistered rights can take years; however, the typical time-scale to register a trade mark might be around three to four months.
Considering the value that can be attributed to registered trade mark rights the costs are relatively manageable (normally a few hundred pounds). This is money well spent since it can create huge cost savings further down the line if a competitor were to use the same / similar mark on the same / similar products or services.
It is possible to register a trade mark as a word mark, a stylised logo or a combination of the two.
For free, no-obligation preliminary advice and cost estimates relating to the protection of your brand, please complete our Trade Mark Enquiry Form.