Do I need a trade mark?
For many businesses, trade marks are important instruments for distinguishing their products and services from those of their competitors. Registering your trade marks means you can prevent others from using similar trade marks and harming your goodwill.
There have been some high profile disputes surrounding the ownership of trade marks, particularly when two companies are competing in similar sectors.
Registering a trade mark gives you the rights in law to prevent others from using a particular name or logo and, in some circumstances, may even allow Trading Standards to take action against counterfeiters who use your brand illegally.
The failure to register a trade mark can result in the loss of your right to use it, if another company registers it first. While consistent use of a trade mark for a lengthy period of time may establish a common law right to the trade mark, the first to use a trade mark does not necessarily acquire the rights in the mark. Until rights have been obtained under common law the only way to ensure you can prevent others using the same or similar trade mark is by registering it.
Trade mark registrations can be used to license an official product, allowing other companies to sell a particular product or service using your. In some cases, such as sporting or charity events, the rights to use an official trade mark as well as selling the rights to other companies under license arrangements.