Protecting your trade mark must be your top priority.
The problem is, many business owners always seem to find obstacles in the way. They’re either too busy, don’t believe their company is big enough to worry about it yet, need more funds, or feel their brand doesn’t warrant a trade mark.
In the grand scheme of things, building relationships with your suppliers, finding new clients, and getting ready for your next trade fair are all important. However, what happens if someone else registers a mark very similar to yours? What do you do then?
You only get one chance to be first in the queue
In the UK we have a ‘first to file’ system.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been trading or the size of your business, if another company files an application the day before you, you’ll lose your place at the front of the queue.
If that company’s trade mark is identical or similar in respect of the mark itself or the associated goods and services, your position is significantly compromised.
All those years of brand building could have gone up in smoke.
Don’t drag your heels when it comes to protecting your trade mark
You might be thinking that’s all well and good, but what are the chances of it happening to you?
The issue is that it can happen. Are you willing to take the risk?
Even if you decided to work with a professional trade mark attorney, time is of the essence. It’s no good instructing them to do searches and compile your application if you’re going to drag your heels signing it off. They are professionals, but they can’t jump the queue for you.
You see, the filing date is vital. That’s why, here at Ward, once we take an instruction to file, it’s filed the same day.
If you are still procrastinating, think about what it would mean to your business if someone got in before you.
How would it impact your customers, your turnover, and your future?
In an earlier post, we discussed the top five reasons why you must register your trade mark before you do anything else. Here’s a recap:
- A registered trade mark gives you exclusive rights. If someone tries to infringe your mark, you have legal recourse against them
- Without registration, you have to rely on passing off
- Registration adds value and credibility to your brand
- It prevents confusion in the marketplace
- It helps Trading Standards or the police bring charges against counterfeiters
Make sure you’re first past the post
No one wants to see their hard work go down the pan.
With the UK’s “first to file” system for registered trade marks, it’s imperative you register your trade mark at your earliest opportunity. Doing so will prevent someone else obtaining a conflicting registration, which would block a subsequent application you make for your trade mark.
In addition to protecting your business, a registered trade mark enables you to keep others from benefiting from the reputation, and “goodwill” associated with your business.
Moreover, it can be licenced or sold. Therefore, some trade marks can be highly valuable.
Don’t delay – get your trade mark registered and protect your business: