How to register a trademark
intellectual property, trademark, trade mark
Once you have selected a name or logo for your business, you will want to make sure that no one else uses it. This can be done by securing the trademark rights to it.
Step 1 – What is a Trademark
Decide what you need to protect. A trademark can be a word, logo or slogan. If you want to protect all three in the UK and most other countries that means 3 separate applications.
A word mark gives you exclusive rights to that word with no claim to colour style or font.
A logo protects the visual presentation so includes the words, colours or pictures included.
A slogan protects the short snappy sentence you want exclusive rights to use along with your product or services.
Step 2 – Is the name available to use
Ideally, you will want to make sure that no one else is using your name, logo or slogan i.e. your trademark. To do this, you will want to perform a trademark search. The trademark search will tell you whether someone else is already using something identical or a highly similar. There’s no sense wasting your time with the rest of the procedure if someone else has already registered it. Further, if someone has already trademarked it and you use it, you may be infringing on their trademark. An internet search is a good place to start as this will tell you what is being used in the marketplace. A trademark search is done by searching the Official Trade Mark Office’s records or using a search company. A trademark attorney can do the search and has the legal expertise to analyse the search results and let you know whether your mark complies with Trade Mark laws or not. This can save you from paying unnecessary filing fees, should the mark not qualify for trademark protection.
Step 3 – File the application
An application is filed with the Trade Mark Office. A trademark attorney will ensure that you gain the widest protection possible and that it complies with all the complicated procedures and rules.
If you do not apply for a trademark registration then you do build up unregistered rights. These are limited to the geographical area you are using your brand in.
Step 4 – Protect against unauthorised use
After your trademark is registered you will need to make sure no one uses it without your say so. You can monitor use of your mark or set up a “trademark watch” to alert you when others use your mark. You can then decide to take action by sending a cease and desist letter.
If you follow the above steps, you should successfully legally protect and enforce your trademark rights.
About the Author:
Dale Campell is an experienced trademark attorney for Trademark Tribe. You can contact us on 0208 123 9871 about trademark registration services.
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