Trade marks can be a valuable business asset. But what actually do they do?

Trade marks are generally used to protect brand names and logos.

As part of the application process for your trade mark, you must submit a specification – the goods and services for which you intend to use the mark in relation to. This will then protect you against anyone using a mark the same or similar to yours for those goods or services.

When deciding what trade marks to register, consider in what format you use most and what do people use to recognise your business – your name or your branding?

If you register your logo this will not protect your name – sounds obvious, right? But what if your logo includes your name – would you expect protection against someone using the same name?

This seems to be where there is some confusion.

If you want to protect your name, you must trade mark register your name. If you only protect your logo, which incorporates your name, you are only preventing a third party from using a similar logo.

For more information on intellectual property, Lawpoint’s very own Tracey O’Connell has also co-authored a book which discusses these issues – see The Collaboration Game – its a freelance thing.

The Collaboration Game