There is no denying that trademarking can be difficult. However, it is essential in terms of protecting your brand identity and the future of your business. After all, the last thing you want to do is end up in trouble for trademark infringement. Moreover, you want to ensure you secure and maintain the reputation and exclusivity of your own brand. So, with that being said, read on to discover some trademark tips that can help you with the branding of your business.
Make certain it is yours before you begin using it
There is only one place to begin, and this is ensuring your business actually has the right to use the trademark. There are two key things you need to know here. Firstly, you are only allowed to take on a trademark if it is not deemed ‘confusingly similar’ to any other trademarks for similar services or products.
Moreover, in terms of trademark infringement, you cannot use ignorance as a defence. Therefore, you need to be 100 per cent certain that the trademark is yours to use and do a trademark search.
Select a trademark that you are able to protect
Different types of trademarks are afforded different levels of protection. Fanciful trademarks are the most effective, i.e. made-up words, giving you the highest level of protection. Conversely, you won’t get any trademark protection for something generic.
Arbitrary (a type of trademark that is unrelated to the product or service it represents, like Apple, for example) and suggestive trademarks (a type of trademark that suggests or references the product or service it represents, without describing it outright) are subject to protection, with the former offering a greater scope of protection.
Descriptive trademarks (describe the product or service it represents) are only protectable if a secondary meaning is obtained in a relevant marketplace.
Remember that registration is only the beginning
When it comes to the trademarking procedure, registration is only the beginning of everything that is entailed. There are many precautionary measures you need to embark on. If you do not enforce your trademark rights correctly you could lose your exclusive rights altogether. At the least, your brand will start to degrade. This highlights why it is so pivotal that you go about the entire process in the correct manner.
If you operate overseas or you are planning to, make sure you take all of the required steps to protect your trademarks over laws in the countries you are operating in.
Seek expert assistance
Last but not least, there is no denying that the matter of trademarking can be very complex, so it is critical that you get some expert assistance. There are companies that deal with trademarking issues all of the time and will be able to assist you with protecting your business and securing your brand.
So there you have it: some important tips regarding the trademarking of your business. If you follow the advice that has been provided above, you can make sure that your reputation and exclusivity are protected while also ensuring you do not end up in any legal hot water yourself.
In the United Kingdom, you can register a trademark through the Intellectual Property Office. The IPO’s website provides detailed guidance and resources to help you through the registration process.