This 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.
Are you displaying the ®
symbol beside your trade mark?
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
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.
Do you have a trade mark watching/alert service in place?
Do your trade marks fully cover your business as it stands today?
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.
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: email@example.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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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.