Ward Trade Marks - Trade Marks Maintenance TasksThis article contains a handy six point checklist for business owners to use to ensure that your trade marks are in perfect order. If not, now might be a good time to do a bit of housekeeping. The good news is that most of these may be done for free or at relatively low cost.

  1. Are you displaying the ®

    symbol beside your trade mark?

A surprising number of trade mark owners don’t do it. It’s a privilege to be able to use it and serves as a good reminder to potential infringers that your trade mark is registered. Otherwise no one will know unless they check the trade mark register. Why not save them the trouble whilst at the same time highlighting that your trade mark is not there for the taking.
It’s also worth a mention, don’t use the ® symbol before your registration is complete – it is an offence to display the symbol against an unregistered mark.
  1. Is the address for your trade mark, on file at the UK IPO/ EUIPO, up to date with your current business address?

It’s quite common for the trade mark to get forgotten about when it comes to keeping up with company address changes. So what is the problem? If you don’t have a representative on record for your marks, any correspondence needs to go direct to you, the owner.

Important correspondence can easily be missed e.g. if the IPO needs to tell you about a new trade mark application that you wish to object to, you won’t hear about it if the mail goes to the wrong address.

Extremely happy with the professional service provided by Ward Trade Marks in obtaining our trade mark. Their advice and support made the process stress free and I would not hesitate to recommend them to others.

Daniel Compton, Owner at Armadillo Sec Limited

  1. Is the trade mark in the correct ownership?

This one is vital.

If you have changed your company name, your trade mark records at the IPO need to be updated accordingly.

Or perhaps the trade marks were filed in your personal name but you now trade under a limited company.
If so the trade marks must to be assigned so that the company owns them. If you need to enforce your trade mark against an infringer you don’t want to be delayed by a month or more while the UKIPO records the transfer.

  1. Do you have a trade mark watching/alert service in place?

If you are serious about policing your trade mark this essential service alerts you to new trade mark applications that you would much prefer are not registered. We use this on all of our own trade marks, to preserve our monopoly.
  1. Do your trade marks fully cover your business as it stands today?

Rachael Ward

Rachael Ward, Founder of Ward Trade Marks

It is very common when a business grows that new products and services are added that aren’t specified under the original trade mark. Equally you may have rebranded and the old logo trade mark registrations no longer match what you use today.

If you are faced with an infringement problem whilst relying on trade marks that aren’t up to date your rights as registered may not be sufficient to overcome the issue.
A simple trade mark audit would pick this up. The remedy may be to apply for a new trade mark or two to pull in new services/ products, or to cover updated branding.
  1. Following on from the above, do you use any trade marks that are unregistered?

If so maybe you should think about registering them now. As covered elsewhere, registered trade mark rights are much stronger than unregistered ‘passing off rights’.

If you would like more information on any of the points here please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing: bill@wardtrademarks.com or call us on 01284 619000 and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Free Guide: Everything A Business Owner Needs To Know About Trade Marks

The guide will explain to you in detail the essentials of trade mark protection including:-

  • Choosing a distinctive brand name – why a good choice will resonate with your customers and reduce your advertising and marketing spend.
  • The importance of avoiding the descriptive/ generic trade mark trap.
  • The importance of pre-filing searches – done the correct way – to avoid future legal action against you and the risk of having to rebrand.
  • Strategy on when to time your application.
  • Realising the value of your trade mark – why your trade mark is considered an asset on your balance sheet.
  • The importance of maintaining and enforcing your registered trade mark rights once your mark is registered.

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Free Guide: Everything A Business Owner Needs To Know About Trade Marks

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Working with a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney ensures that your trade mark application is accurate and meets the interests of your business. It also means you can hand over all the hard work to a professional, leaving you free to focus on the running of your venture.

To make a no obligation enquiry, please either call us on 01284 619000 or Click Here To Make An Online Enquiry and we will be delighted to help you.

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