What is a trademark and why should I register mine?
Everyday, wherever we go or whatever we’re doing, we are surrounded by trademarks. We’re so used to seeing them and decoding them that we’re often not aware we’re doing it. Human beings have evolved to read important information from imagery – colour, shapes, sounds and smells and all convey meanings and messages to us on a subconscious as well as conscious level.
No matter what type of business you’re in, a trademark is an essential business tool which makes you visible in the marketplace.
It’s important that you think carefully about developing a trademark that will make you stand out from your competitors and that you consider getting your trademark registered. The Lawbase team are your experts on trademark law and we’re here to help you understand trademarks and the importance of registering your trademark.
Your trademark = your brand!
A trademark is a recognisable sign that distinguishes your business from your competitors. A trademark is a form of intellectual property which can be a name, logo, slogan, colour, shape, scent or sound, and is often a combination of these.People often get confused about what trademarks are, mistaking a domain name or even a business name for a trademark.
Trademarks are an effective way for your customers to recognise your business and what you sell, whether it be goods, services or both. When a customer has a favourable experience with you, they associate a feeling of goodwill with your trademark and they will remember this the next time they need your goods or services.
A good trademark should be easily recognisable, distinctive and unique to your business. Trademarks are powerful tools! A child who cannot yet read is still able to recognise the trademark of their favourite fast food restaurant.
Why should I register my trademark?
It’s about protecting your brand. Having a registered trademark gives you ownership of your trademark and you have exclusive use of it – no one else can use your trademark or one similar to it. You’ve worked hard to provide your customers with a quality product or service and you don’t want someone else riding on your success by luring your customers away with a trademark that causes confusion. When you have your trademark registered you can legally stop anyone else from doing this.
Registering your trademark gives you the following benefits
- You can use the symbol ®next to your trademark
- You have exclusive rights to use your trademark for 10 years
- You can take legal action against anyone using your trademark or one similar to it
- A registered trademark is a valuable asset which can be sold or franchised
- Customers take registered trademarks seriously and will be drawn to your business.
The process of getting a trademark registered can be a long and complex one and it’s easy to get confused about what to do. The team at Lawbase have the knowledge, expertise and experience to answer any questions you have about trademarking. We understand the complex issues surrounding this area of law and we can give you the right advice, making the process as smooth as possible.
If you’re ready to apply to have your trademark registered, see our blog on how to select a trademark class.