What is a Trade Mark?
A trade mark is a way of distinguishing your goods or services from other businesses and plays an important role in your marketing and branding activities.
Examples of trade marks include:
- A word, phrase or slogan
- A logo
- A brand name
- Your company name
- Music, sound or jingle
- A colour
A trade mark can only be registered through the Intellectual Property Office.
I’ve been trading using my company name and logo for years. Do I really need to register them as Trade Marks?
Your Intellectual Property will have some limited protection using Common Law, but it can be difficult to prove that your company name, logo and other unique characteristics of your business identity belong to you without a properly registered trade mark. So, if you find that another person or business is using your company name, logo or slogan without your permission it can be a very lengthy and costly process to take legal action against them.
Although registering a trade mark with the Intellectual Property Office will cost money, this should be seen as an investment as you will be protecting your business from competitors and reducing the risk of someone copying or stealing your brand identity.
You can make sure your application is as straightforward, efficient and low-cost as possible by using the skills of an experienced solicitor to help you get the details right.
How can I defend my trade mark?
A trade mark is a valuable part of your business and you are entitled to defend it should you feel that someone is copying a part of your business identity.
If you want to pursue legal action against another person or business you will need to employ a specialist solicitor who will be able to advise you on the best course of action, depending on whether or not your trade mark is registered and the evidence available that someone has used your intellectual property without permission.
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