Trade mark advice is a valuable commodity, but running a business is expensive; we understand that. However, taking matters into your own hands – even if you think it’s relatively straightforward – could end up costing you dear.

Last month, we looked at what could potentially happen to your brand if you went down the DIY trade mark route. One error could lead to extra costs, time delays in achieving your trade mark registration, and even catastrophic damage to your brand.

This is such a big issue, it deserves a more in-depth look. Therefore, it’s worth taking a look at a few of the questions we get asked the most.

Quick opinions don’t show the big picture

A quick opinion isn’t something you want when it comes to trade mark advice. However, it’s something we hear all the time. Here are some of the most common questions we get asked:

  • I’m looking to register my trade mark. Can you tell me if it will be accepted?
  • I’ve done a quick check on the internet/ UK IPO website for the trade mark I want to register, and I think it is ‘available’. There was one similar trade mark though. Can you have a look for me and tell me whether or not my application will be okay?
  • Can you take a quick look at the unique business process/method I’ve created? Is it protectable?
  • Someone has copied my name, and I want to stop them using it. Do I have a case?
  • This cease and desist letter arrived yesterday from someone telling me that I am infringing their trade mark. Can you have a quick look and let me know what sort of case I have?
  • I have applied for a trade mark, but I received a letter from the IPO (TM7A) telling me that someone else has threatened to oppose my application if I don’t withdraw it. Can you have a quick look and let me know if I am in the right or what I should do?
  • I was chatting to a solicitor who said I should frame my application to register my trade mark in a certain way (e.g. as a series) using these categories. Can you have a quick look and see what you think and let me know how much you would charge?

These are all excellent questions and ones you should be concerned about. However, answering them with a ‘quick look’ isn’t good enough.

Look at it this way; if you were suffering from chest pains, you wouldn’t be happy if your doctor just took a ‘quick look.’ OK, trade mark issues aren’t a life or death situation for you, but they could be for your business.

The complexities of trade mark issues

The questions listed above are often complex and fact-specific. To find the right answers we would need to take you on board as a client and consult with you properly.

The only way to give you the correct advice would be to look into the history and take in all the facts of the situation. Only then can we deliver informed legal advice that you can rely on.

Trade marks are legal matters and therefore, must be taken seriously. A DIY approach can land you and your business in some seriously hot water and do untold damage to your reputation.

The time and effort you put into building your brand, business, and reputation deserves the best professionally implemented protection.

Don’t let fate decide your business’s future: