A Trade Mark is any sign, capable of being represented graphically which can act as an indication of origin and quality of a product or a service.
Trade Marks are important because having invested a considerable amount of time and resources in developing and marketing a product or service, it is only fair that customers (or potential customers) should recognize your product or services as originating from you, and not anybody else. Furthermore since they are assets, then once registered they could increase the value of a business.
Trade marks are powerful business tools and may take various forms, such as a word, a logo, a shape, a sound or even a scent, packaging, colours and strap lines can all be registered as Trade Marks.
Contrary to popular belief, an unregistered trade mark does not afford you the same rights as a registrered trade mark. If someone begins to use an unregistered trade mark which you own for identical or similar goods or services (known as passing off), it can be very difficult in certain circumstances to prove to the Courts that your mark has goodwill and a reputation with the relevant public.
Whereas proof of a registered trade mark can be easily confirmed by producing the registration certificate of the mark.
Further, proving use of an unregistered trade mark does not prevent a third party from trying to obtain the registered trade mark of that brand. If someone tries to do that, it then necessitates you to challenge that registration relying on your earlier unregistered trademark, an exercise which is much harder to achieve in practice.
It is important to note that registration may not be necessary everywhere, and that you may have to decide on whether it is worth obtaining registration in certain countries, or markets, and not in others as it would probably not make much sense to register a Trade Mark covering say a country such as Portugal if your business will only be trading in Manchester and Birmingham. Also, do think of territories where your goods originate from / are manufactured and think about obtaining protection in these places. Finally, you may find it useful to obtain protection in territories with a high risk of counterfeiting / infringement, for goods / services in your sector / industry, prior to launching your products. We can help with:-
Call us on 0161 435 6212 or email us here, if you have a Trade Mark related issue you would like help with.