What is a Trade Mark?
A Trade Mark is a symbol, word, phrase or design that distinguishes your product or brand from others. Trade Marks are vital in protecting your brand identity and are often considered a key asset that can add significant value to a business.
To register a Trade Mark:
- Your Trade Mark must be unique
- It can include words, sounds, logos, colours or a combination
- It must not be offensive
- It cannot describe the goods or services it relates to
- It must not be misleading
- It must be distinctive and uncommon
- It must not look too similar to state symbols such as flags
Trade Marks can be used without registration but registering a Trade Mark can make protection and enforcement much easier.
How does it work?
You first need to check if your brand qualifies as a Trade Mark. The next stage is to apply to register your Trade Mark and then you will need to respond to any objections. If there are no objections the process can take around four months. Your registered Trade Mark will last for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely for further 10 year periods.
Once you have registered your Trade Mark you can take legal action against counterfeiters or anyone using your brand without permission. You can put a ® symbol next to your brand which will warn others not to use it. You will also be able to sell or licence your brand.