When starting a business, many budding entrepreneurs think that just buying a domain name is enough to secure your company name. Splurge on a fancy logo and you’re done, right? Hmmmm….Not quite, let’s talk about why you should trademark your business.
As your business grows and becomes a serious venture, you will want to start securing your brand identity and protecting your intellectual property. So should you consider trademarking your business? Consider these following points:
I’ve registered my business at Companies House, that should do it, right?
Many different types of businesses that have disparate products and services can trade under similar names. So registration at Companies House isn’t enough. Remember the trademark isn’t just about your name! Your brand identity and your particular products and services offering all come into play when registering your trademark.
If someone copies my trademark, what are the consequences?
Customer confusion about your brand and lost sales are possibilities if you don’t protect what’s yours. Another company trading with a similar name or product offering can cause dispute.
Okay, what other things should I consider?
Trademarking can get expensive, and it also depends on where you’re trading. You can just register the trademark in the UK if that’s where your audience is. If you are planning to take your brand to a European market, you will want to consider extending your trademark registration.
So, you can easily apply for a UK trademark online the Intellectual Property Office and the process is relatively straightforward at a cost of around £250. Go to gov.uk to get started, it’s not always a given that you will be granted your trademark, you may get some objections! Alternatively, seek advice from a professional. Again check out this .gov page about seeking intellectual property advice.
A word of warning, when I applied for my trademark I got a bunch of letters from other intellectual property offices. Some of them from legitimate offices in Europe, some of them appeared to be dodgy. Either way, they all give the impression that fees are due to them and are quite deceiving. If you are unsure about a communication from any of these or how it will affect your application, contact the UK IPO directly and ask for their advice.