One of the most distinctive aspects of your business, especially if you have a distinctive and recognisable business and brand, may be your logo and therefore it is understandable to want to attain as much security as possible. The best way to do this is to obtain a trade mark. A trade mark allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors within the market.
If you apply for a trademark and you are successful you will be able to use the trade mark freely to advertise your Company. It is important though that you register the trademark for the correct classes of use as your control over the logo will only extend to those classes you have registered for. If any other business attempts to use your registered trademark you will be able to instigate legal proceedings against them.
There are two main hurdles to clear before you are able to register your logo with the Intellectual Property Office. These are that :-
- the logo that you wish to register is unlike any other logo which is currently in the marketplace ; and
- that it is not similar in any way to a trademark to which you have previously registered.
There are certain requirements and restrictions relating to what can be used when applying for a trademark and attempting to have it registered. Your logo will not be able to contain any materials which are likely on the balance of probabilities to cause any confusion for the public between your logo and any one of your competitors. For example, it is likely that the Intellectual Property Office would stop any fast food restaurant from trying to trade mark a big yellow N as a logo due to the confusion this would cause with McDonalds.
It would also not be possible to trade mark a logo which contains something within it which has become standard within the industry you are operating in. The Intellectual Property Office may reject the trade mark application for other reasons such as it being offensive.
One main hurdle for any trade mark application is to ensure that there are not any current trade marks which will be compromised by the granting of your application.. The Intellectual Property Office has a search engine on its website which can be used for checking existing trade marks which ensures that you are not attempting a trade mark which is likely to get rejected for being too similar.
Once the trademark has been registered in the UK through the Intellectual Property Office you may wish to expand your protection by extending the trade mark into other areas through the Office of Harmonisation in the Internal Market, which will provide protection throughout the EU.
Get in touch for further advice on this issue, or alternatively, you can find additional IP law advice herehttp://www.darlingtons.com/commercial-law/intellectual-property or at the IPO.
Haven't found what you need yet?
Why not search the whole site?