A trade mark is a registered sign that distinguishes your company’s products and services from those of your competitors.
There are many different types of trade marks, from specific words, to the design of logos and even the shapes and colours used in packaging can be protected through a trade mark.
By registering your trade marks you can protect the name of your business, as well as the logos and brands associated with it. Owning a registered trade mark entitles you to prevent others from using the same or a similar trade mark.
Some businesses spend millions of pounds every year protecting their brands, ensuring that no matter where you are in the world, they will be recognised, as well as reassuring customers that your products and services are of a consistent quality.
Trade marks can remain registered for an indefinite amount of time provided that the trade mark registration is renewed every ten years; some have been in existence for over 100 years!
When you have registered your trade mark, you are entitled to represent that it is registered by using the symbol ®.
Demonstrating long-term use of a brand name can help to support the case for successfully registering a trade mark, particularly if a company has been trading under a specific name for a long time. Historical use of a trade mark is often relied upon when disputes in ownership arise.
Remember that trade marks only apply to the brand of a particular product or service, they cannot protect the specific product or service.