Dispelling the myths around trade marks

Posted on April 28, 2015 in Intellectual Property (Tags: Branding, Domain Names, Intellectual Property, Trade Marks) Intellectual-Property.jpg

Registering a trade mark is an effective way of protecting your business goodwill and reputation in goods and services and relatively inexpensive to obtain. Here are some common misconceptions around trade marks.

  • Using a company name as a trading name gives me sufficient protection. This is incorrect.  Incorporating a company using your trading name will only prevent others from registering a name which is identical to yours.  A registered trade mark will enable you to prevent another company which has registered its name on the Companies Register from using that name in a manner which infringes your trade mark.
  • My domain name gives me sufficient protection. Unfortunately, registering a domain name does not give you exclusive rights to use that domain name in connection with your business.  A registered trade mark will usually trump a domain name .
  • Any brand name can be registered. This is incorrect.  A trade mark must be capable of indicating in the course of trade a connection between you and your goods or services.  This means that very descriptive trade marks are difficult to register as are words which other people would ordinarily want to use in connection with those goods or services.  The best trade mark is a highly distinctive mark which will distinguish your goods and services from those of your competitors and is easily remembered by consumers.
Sally Peart