Follow the Do's and avoid the Don'ts when it comes to protecting your brand
DO make your mark distinctive. A trade mark should be a clear representative of your business therefore it is essential that it is unique to you. This will also allow you to attract customers over and above your competitors.
DO NOT copy another brand. While it may be tempting to give yourself a foot up on the ladder by using the attraction and recognition of another brand, this is not the route to pursues. Not only is it very unlikely you will gain registration of this mark, you will be subject to any action of infringement from the owner of the mark you are copying. Believe us when we say, it is not worth it.
DO gain the advice and guidance of an expert. While it may seem a way to save money by going alone, a price cannot be put on the relief you feel knowing that someone with years of experience is keeping a close eye on your trade mark application and taking you through it step by step aiding with any issues or clarifying any points of confusion. Trade marks and Intellectual Property in general is a complex area and can be very technical, therefore it is best left in the hands of the experts.
DO NOT develop your mark too closely linked to your industry. While of course you want customers to identify you with a certain type of product or business, it is not a good idea to have your mark a generic term. Again linking to the need for distinctiveness, not only are you opening yourself to a chance of a refusal of registration, consumers will not be able to identify you as a stand out business. Many of the most successful brands have marks that are completely unrelated from their products, just look at Kodak and Apple.
DO NOT use offensive language or protected emblems as part of your mark. While this may seem something that goes without saying, there have been many attempts to register various words, phrases and images that are deemed inappropriate or unacceptable. Not only again with it be refused registration, it does not give the best impression to any potential customers. In regards to protected emblems, any use of any sign or mark that portrays a link to the Crown or the Royal Family as well as any use of a flag or symbol that represents a nation or protected body cannot be registered as a trade mark by an unconnected party.
DO conduct as much research as you can. It is important that you are clear on your goals for your brand as well as the opportunities and options you have available to you. There are a number of avenues you can pursue that your Trade Mark expert will take you through but this will be a more successful process if you have an idea of where you want to take your business and what you want to achieve. In addition, after creating a mark, it is essential you conduct a trade mark search to ensure it is not already being used by another party.
Contact The Trademarkroom team to get the ball rolling.
By Ellis Sweetenham