You’ve worked hard to build your business and grow your brand but have you protected it?
Here’s our top tips on registering your trade mark.
- Register it! This is key. It means you can use it to stop others from using the same or a similar name. If you don’t someone else could do so and force you to re-brand, give up domain names, social media accounts, etc.
- Register the name, not just the logo, so that you’re protected regardless of any logo design/style.
- Do a search before applying to check the name is available and see if there’s anything similar registered. If so your application may be opposed. It may also be opposed if the name is too ‘generic’.
- Pick appropriate ‘classes’ for your goods/services and provide an accurate specification. A trade mark class is a category associated to your goods or services e.g. clothing or SaaS. If you include too many classes or the spec is too broad your mark could be challenged, and if you choose too few or the scope is too narrow the protection will be reduced.
- Apply for trade marks in countries where your business/customers will be located – this is particularly important in the EU and US, which means you secure your rights in over 50% of the global market by GDP.
- Ensure you deal with official correspondence on time otherwise your application could be rejected or your trade mark registration lost.
- You don’t need to use the ® symbol to show you have a registered trade mark, but if you do it puts others on notice of your rights (particularly in the US). If you don’t have a registered trade mark you can’t use ® but can use the ™ symbol instead.