Did you know that simply registering a business or company name does not mean that you own the name or will be protected from business identity theft? Quite often many people think that all they need to do is to register their business, print their business cards and they are good to go!
The only way to protect your brand is to trademark it. Well, what exactly is a trademark? A trademark is usually words, symbols, phrases or designs, and sometimes a combination of these, that will identify your goods or services from that of other goods and services.
A trademark is not the same as a business name registration. A business name registration is a government requirement that simply links a person, or persons, to that business. Business name registration does not give you ownership of a brand. These days, everywhere you turn you will recognise brands that have been trademarked. Some examples of these include Apple, Nike, Ebay and Google. Each of these brands recognise that they have a valuable asset that is worth protecting. Should anyone try and copy their branding, then they risk being sued for infringement.
It is important to understand that a trademark is also different to copyright. Copyright covers things like poems, web content, artistic works such a sculptures and paintings and dramatic works such as plays or films. Copyright is automatic and does not protect the name given to these works or any logos used in the promotion of these works.
So why would you trademark your brand? Well, in short to save a lot of heartache and money! By trade marking your brand, you will not be sued for trademark infringement, you won’t risk losing your business and you can avoid identity theft of your business name and product name. You will have peace of mind that what you have worked hard to develop will be protected. Ideally, once you have chosen your name, you should obtain an Initial Protection Review and Strategy Report to ensure you can use and register the name as a trademark.
Trademark registration is not a simple process and is best left to the experts. The cost of registering a trademark is not as expensive as you might think. For our clients, we recommend they see a trade mark specialist who will be able to assist in all aspects of research, classification and application.
If you would like to find out more about protecting your brand please contact us.