Trademark registration services
Your organisation’s brand and the ideals and culture it represents has a quantifiable balance sheet value and is worth protecting. Consumers instinctively gravitate to brands they know and trust and are often prepared to pay a premium.
Consider this: Forbes’ 2017 study of the leading brands worldwide reveals that technology giant Apple is the most valuable brand globally, worth a staggering $170 billion, with Google coming in second worth an impressive $101.8bn! While most companies can only dream of having a market value on this scale, what this shows is that your brand does have a tangible value and may well be worth protecting by registering it as a trademark.
What is a trademark and why should your company consider registering one?
A trademark is a name, sign or logo used to distinguish your company or your products from others, also known as a brand. The world’s most successful brands have massive tangible value – Microsoft (US $87 bn), Amazon (US $54.1 bn) and Coca-Cola (US $56.4 bn), to name just a few.
Even if your business is not yet in the same league as companies like Toyota (US $41.1 bn), you should still consider registering a trademark to prevent others from using or being confused with your brand.
Registering the name of a company with Companies House does not automatically trademark it, a common misconception. Although it prevents other companies from registering their company with the same name, it does not prevent them using your name as a brand or in a logo for example. You may also have brand names or logos that are separate from and don’t even relate to your company name and it is these that you may wish to protect by registering a trademark. There is no limit to the number of trademarks a company can hold.
Registering a trademark
To register a trademark (which must be renewed every ten years), an application needs to be made to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
Once a trademark has been successfully registered, you can take legal action against any person or company that tries to use your trademark. As it is a tangible asset you can also sell and licence its use.
Common difficulties with registering trademarks
To qualify as a trademark your branding must be recognisable and differentiate your goods or services from others.
Here are some common barriers to registering your company name, brand or logo as a trademark:
- It is not distinctive enough – a trademark must distinguish your business from others that offer similar services or goods
- It is too descriptive – avoid words like ‘best’ or ‘cheap’ or words that are common in your industry such as ‘fish’ for a fishing company!
- It indicates a location
- It is similar or the same as another trademark
- It is confusing or misleading
- It could cause offence
- The logo or sign is similar or identical to flags, coats of arms, official signs, hallmarks and names (or abbreviations) of governmental organisations (such as MI5).
What can Bridgehouse do to assist?
Bridgehouse Company Secretaries has specialist knowledge of trademark registration and can help you protect your intellectual property.
We provide the following trademark registration services:
- Making the application on your behalf to the IPO and dealing with subsequent correspondence
- Helping navigate the common barriers, assess the brand you wish to trademark and reduce the risk of failed registration
- Trademark renewals
If you’d like to know more about trademark registration, please get in touch.