You’ve registered your company name with Companies House, so that’s enough to prevent your name and brand from being copied by competitors, right? Unfortunately this is most definitely NOT the case!
First of all, to ensure your brand is adequately protected, you need to register it as a trade mark. A clearance check will also ensure your brand name is available and that you are not infringing the rights of another company by using it.
The two-step process involved in filing a trade mark;
STEP 1: CLEARANCE CHECK
Firstly, a clearance check will uncover whether there are earlier trade marks which could prevent you using your chosen name or create obstacles to your trade mark reaching registration.
This is an important stage. Skip this process and there’s a risk you could proceed with a name that another company already has rights to. They could stop you using the name or, in the worst-case scenario, ask you to pay compensation for infringing their rights.
STEP 2: TRADE MARK FILING
Filing the trade mark with the Trade Marks Registry involves the strategic drafting and filing of your trade mark to give it the best chance of success.
The UK Trade Marks Registry charges £170 to file a trade mark in 1 category and £50 for each additional class.
Trade marks last for 10 years and can be renewed for subsequent periods of 10 years as many times as you wish.
For any legal assistance in the process of filing a trade mark, I can thoroughly recommend Liz Sproston, Managing Director of The Big Ideas Legal Company.
The Big Ideas Legal Company is a virtual law firm that specialises in registering and enforcing trade marks. They offer straightforward, practical advice on intellectual property, trade mark and brand protection issues to companies across all business sectors. According to their website they aim to “make high quality professional advice accessible to all companies, regardless of whether you are an entrepreneur, start-up, small or growing business”.
Furthermore, the charges for their services are very reasonable.
UK clearance check: £195 + VAT.
Prepare and file a UK trade mark in 1 category of goods/services: fixed fee of £450 + VAT and £50 + VAT for each additional class.
Liz Sproston is happy to discuss any questions you may have in a free initial telephone consultation. Please feel free to call her: 07551 585783