When Do You Need a Trademark Registration
Whenever you are setting up a small business, a natural concern is for you to be able to get your name out there and garner the success of your brand. An integral part of achieving success is your company’s name and all the designs and logos it uses. They are the identifying factors of your company’s brand and are known as trademarks.
To that end, small businesses need to make sure that they do everything in order to protect their brand’s trademarks and copyrights as they try to make their way up the ladder of success by marketing their goods and/or services.
Trademarks protect the names, words, symbols, sounds or even colours that distinguish the goods and services provided by one company from other companies and are what defines the source of certain goods and services. If you are operating in your local geographical region, you might not even have to get your trademark registered, but with the onset of e-commerce, expansion in businesses — big and small — is booming. When your reach extends beyond your locality, you will need to protect your brand among the competition you will be facing out there in a broader marketplace. Getting your trademark registered can be very beneficial for you since it enables you to expand your operations across the nation depending on your requirements without having to do anything special. You just have to keep using the trademark.
How do you protect your trademark?
First and foremost, a couple of misconceptions have to be moved out of the way. Even if you have your trademark as part of your registered company name does not mean that your trademark cannot be used by other companies.
The company name registration is not a real basis of objection when it comes to you wanting to stop other companies from using your trademark.
You might even have a domain name but it will not be of any real help when it comes down to a conflict. In the United Kingdom, the trade mark rights are obtained via use or via registration of the trademark. The rights which you acquire through usage are not exactly the most reliable because there is little chance of being able to prove them when there is a dispute. The only real way to be able to protect your trade mark is by getting it registered. You can get your trade mark registered if you head up to the Patent Office which is based in Newport in South Wales. The Patent Office provides the Trade mark rights for the mark in the United Kingdom.
Trade Mark in Europe
If your business goes beyond the borders of the United Kingdom into other parts of Europe, you can apply to get a Community Trade Mark which shall protect your trade mark in all countries that are a part of the European Union. For other countries, you can still obtain the local national registrations or even what is known as an International Registration. An international registration is a single registration that protects your trade mark throughout multiple countries.
Once a Trade Mark is Registered
Now that you have realised that you need to get your trade mark registered, you should refer to experts that will guide you best through the complicated procedures of trade mark registration. This is because once you have registered your trade mark, you can stop other business entities from using your trade mark or anything confusingly similar.
Legal experts will help you go through the whole process in a manner that will ensure you will be given the right of way in case of any conflicts regarding the trade mark in the future if they may arise. It is always best to have expert opinion. Getting your trade mark registered is not just an investment that has to come with the pursuit of a business venture, it is one of the most important assets that your business will have to establish itself. You should get only the best legal advice when you are applying for trade mark registration to avoid any discrepancies.
Fees for Registration
The registration of trade marks can be a complicated process but it is not necessarily expensive. The UK has an official fees for registration set at 200 pounds. For a Community Trade Mark, the fee can be up to but no more than 1000 pounds. The costs of registration in other countries can vary depending on the laws that they have in place.
Once you have been granted the rights to your trade mark, the registration will last for 10 years until a payment for renewal is needed. After the fee for renewal is submitted, the rights belong to you indefinitely.