You’ve set up your new business, decided on a name and registered with Companies House. But how do you go about securing your business name and protecting it from being copied or used by a competitor?
As a business name can be paramount to your success it is important to consider the action you can take to protect it. Here we look at what a trademark is and how you can go about trademarking your business name.
What is a trademark?
According to the Collins dictionary a trademark is ‘the name or other symbol used to identify the goods produced by a particular manufacturer or distributed by a particular dealer and to distinguish them from products associated with competing manufacturers or dealers.’
A trademark essentially makes it possible for consumers to identify goods or services as coming from a certain source. They can take many forms including:
Trademarks that have been officially registered and therefore benefit from the legal protection afforded by this process are referred to as Registered Trademarks.
Why should I register my business name as a trademark?
To prevent other people or businesses from copying your business name you can register it as a trademark.
Registering your business name as a trademark means that, amongst other things you can take legal action if you do find someone else using your company name. It also means at a future point you could sell or license your brand.
How do you trademark a business name?
Before you start the process of trademarking your business name, you must ensure that it does not infringe any existing trademarks. Likewise, the gov.uk website lists the things which can and cannot be registered as a trademark
To register a trademark, you need to apply via the Intellectual Property Office. You can either do this yourself or get a third party such as a solicitor to do it on your behalf.
If you complete your trademark application online, it will cost you £170.
Remember, if you register your trademark in the UK, it will only offer protection to your brand in the UK. If you want to operate in the EU or internationally then you will need to complete the relevant trademark process.
How long will it take to trademark my business name?
The process of registering a trademark takes 4 months (if there are no objections from other trademark owners).
If you are successful in your application, a registered trademark will last for 10 years.
How can Intellectual Property Insurance help?
A trademark is classed as Intellectual Property.
Whilst having a registered trademark in place makes it possible to take legal action against anyone who infringes or uses your trademark, the costs of taking legal action will need to be met by yourself.
Intellectual Property insurance can offer cover for infringement defence and legal costs of bringing about a defence.
Having Intellectual property Insurance in place can also have the benefit of acting as a deterrent to larger competitors who may think a small business doesn’t have the resources to pursue an infringement claim.
If you have any questions about Intellectual Property Insurance or your small business insurance needs then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Anthony Jones. We are proud to be a member of IPAN (Intellectual Property Awareness Network) and work hard to help our customers protect themselves.