Your brand is likely to be a valuable asset to your business, such as your name and logo. This blog looks at what to trade mark to best protect you.
What to trade mark?
A trade mark will protect you from others using something “confusingly similar” to your trade mark in respect of similar goods or services to those set out in the specification (you must submit with your trade mark registration).
When deciding what trade mark to register, consider what format you use most and what do people use to recognise your business – your business or trading name or other branding such as logos? If it is your business or trading name, then as a start you should try to trade mark that.
The misconception many people have is that if your logo contains your business name, then trademarking your logo will automatically protect your name – this is not the case!
The easiest way to explain this is to use a case study.
At Lawpoint, we have had to rely on our registered trade mark to stop someone trading under the name “Lawpoint” for legal services. We were able to do this fairly easily as we have our name trademarked.
However, if we had only trademarked our logo, which is a stylised version of our name (see below) this may not have been so easy.
If we had trademarked the logo this would only protect against someone using a similar logo. If they used our name alone or in a different stylised way, we would not have been able to stop them even though the logo contains our name!
What this means
If you want to protect your name, you must trade mark register your name not your logo.
There is nothing to stop you from registering both your name and logo as separate trade marks, but there is a cost involved in registering. And of course, generally your branding and logo are more likely to change over time.