A professional visual image, with a unique logo will allow you to trademark it, and add value to your business.
Why is it Important to Trademark?
Your brand is often your most valuable asset and a registered trade mark will protect your brand. Most people assume that when you register a company name, business name or domain name that you have protection against competitors who might start trading with an identical or similar name or passing their goods and/or services off as yours. This is not the case. The only way to protect yourself against this is with a registered trade mark secured with either the Irish Patents Office or the European Trade Marks Office depending upon where you do business. A registered trade mark gives you automatic legal rights which you can avail of immediately should someone step on your toes or pass their business off as your own. With a registered trade mark you do not need to prove that the goodwill and reputation of your business is being damaged. It is a much simpler process of providing the registered trade mark number and the details of the business infringing your mark.
When you do not have a registered trade mark for your business, you must rely on the common law of tort. In this situation you must prove that the goodwill and reputation of your business is damaged as a result of the infringement and you have suffered loss as a consequence. This can be incredibly difficult to prove and there are huge costs involved in instructing lawyers and going to court with no guarantee of a successful outcome, which can mean bringing a legal action of this type is not an option for many businesses. The best way to avoid this is register your trade mark as soon as possible to protect your business.
What Can be Trademarked?
You can register anything from names (including personal names), logos, slogans, letters, shapes, sounds, smells, and packaging, amongst other things, as long as you are able to show that whatever you are seeking to protect is Distinctive and Consumers can clearly identify your mark with your business. The perfect example would be the Nike Swoosh. Consumers know that when the swoosh is used on its clothing range that they are buying a Nike product. Other examples are Cadbury’s, they secured registration of the colour purple when used on their milk chocolate products. Nestle argued against this on the basis that this colour gave them unfair commercial advantage and it was not distinctive enough to allow it to be registered. This argument was rejected in the High Court as Cadbury provided sufficient evidence that the shade of purple used was distinctive for their milk chocolate products, and consumers overwhelmingly associated the colour purple with Cadbury’s milk chocolate products.
Harley Davidson have registered the sound of their bikes as no other motorbikes have the same sound when they start up. While many things can be registered, words or logos that are generic or descriptive in nature can not be trademarked. It is worth in this instance seeking the advice of an expert to ensure that the name you are looking to protect firstly, is one that is available, and that there is not an identical and/ or similar trademark applied for or registered that could potentially expose you to being sued, and secondly, that your mark is one that is capable of being registered and satisfies the requirements laid down by the Patents Office to secure legal protection.
Original and Unique
When you design your logo with CUBE Design, you can be sure that it is an original artistic work, NOT clip art, and it is exclusive to you, NOT on sale online for anyone to buy where you risk someone else having the same icon or symbol as you. Because what we create for you is original and unique to you, it can be trademarked.
Do however be careful in choosing your business name, because as we have said already, generic or descriptive words often cannot be trademarked. Think alternatively, and outside the box. On occasion with some of our clients by completing a brand assessment with CUBE Design, words and names have come more easily. If you really struggle with naming your business, we can help to explore this with further workshops.
We Can Help You
CUBE Design works alongside a specialist trademark Attorney, who handles all matters relating to trademarks, copyright, designs and any other intellectual property related matter that you may need assistance with.
Our advice is…Trademark as early as possible, and we can help you along the way.
Written by CUBE Design and our Trademark Specialist
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