The Top 5 Reasons to Trade Mark your Brand
By Rina Sond, Partner specialising in Company Commercial and Intellectual Property
Businesses often ask why they need to bother trade marking their brand name or logo. There are a number of reasons for this, but I have outlined below the top 5 reasons why a trade mark registration could help protect your brand in the long run.
1.Security – knowing your position is protected and your brand is secure is essential to the future growth of your business. If you’ve invested time and money in creating your brand (this could be your business name, your logo, your strapline, the look and feel of your products, your customer service approach, and so on), then you should think about protecting what you’ve built. Your brand is often encapsulated within your name and logo. As long as you’ve done your research, you will end up with exclusive rights in the brand, giving you the freedom to operate with peace of mind that no other businesses exist with the same name or logo.
2. An asset – your business brand is an asset, as this will reflect the ethos of your business. So, registering your brand means that you are recognising this. A registered trade mark will be more recognised by consumers and therefore be build goodwill and be considered more valuable than an unregistered one. Further, it can place you in a stronger position in the event of any infringement, making it cheaper and easier to enforce those rights if you need to.
3.Deter infringers – if you’ve registered the brand as a trade mark, then you can use the ® symbol, indicating that it is registered. This can act as a deterrent for others who may be thinking of encroaching on the brand and goodwill that you may have spent time and investment in building up.
4.Attract investment – a registered trade mark (as well as other registered IP rights) will always be viewed favourably by investors when it comes to seeking investment in your business. On average, IP assets form around eighty percent of your business’ assets, so it makes sense to protect it by way of registration.
5.Exploiting your brand – Once your brand is registered as a trade mark, there are a number of options available to make money from your brand. This can be by developing the brand products and services yourself, selling the brand (possibly once you’ve made your money!), licencing your brand to others, entering into joint ventures with other brands and so on. The opportunities are there for the taking!
As well as the above points, there can be other reasons why it is important to register your brand name or logo. One factor to consider is that trade marks can last forever, so long as you continue to renew your trade mark registration every ten years. Other IP rights last for differing lengths of time, but eventually expire unlike trade marks.
Additionally, sometimes registration can be for strategic reasons, using the logic that if you don’t register your brand, then others may! If that is the case, then you could be left high and dry, having wasted time and money only for someone else to take advantage of the brand that you’ve worked so hard to build.
Should you need any further advice or guidance on trade marks or other IP issues, then please contact Rina Sond.
Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.