Trademarks are found almost everywhere, whether they’re used to protect the logo of your favourite clothing brand or the name of that restaurant you love.
But what are trademarks? What do they do and how can they protect your business?
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a unique word, slogan, logo or other design that is used to represent a product or service.
Trademarking is used to identify a product or service and distinguish it from other companies’ products and services.
For example, McDonalds’ iconic trademarked ‘golden arches’ logo is used to differentiate the fast food chain from its competitors and copycats.
Why is trademarking important in the UK?
Branding, logos and strap lines are created to be in the public domain and therefore they need to be registered to be fully protected.
Registering a trademark does this, providing protection against other people using the same branding for their products.
‘Copycats’ can be confusing to customers and potential detrimental to a business.
What are the benefits of registering a trademark in the UK?
In addition to the protection that trademarking provides, registration also has other benefits.
For example, successful registration can provide a defence to business owners if they are ever accused of copying another business’s brand, as the registration process itself provides an opportunity for objections to be raised and settled by the parties.
What happens if you don’t have a trademark?
If you don’t trademark your logo then it will be difficult to prevent someone copying it or using a similar one.
If someone does use a similar logo to yours, that company may trademark their logo and they’ll be able to do so without you being informed.
With a registered trademark however, you can protect your brand and take action against anyone who attempts to copy it.