What is a trade mark?

Trade marks are a valuable business asset and, as such, need to be protected. Trade marks are the sign or brand image by which your goods and/ or services are known in your marketplace.  It is therefore a symbol that your business is to be trusted, and has goodwill.  Consequently, trade marks are a very valuable part of any business. The owner of a trade mark has exclusive use of that sign. Trade marks are protected by registration.  More detailed information on registered trade marks and the registration of trade marks is available on this linked page. The people at BRAND PROTECT are experts in branding and trade marks, and their protection and – where appropriate – their licensing or franchising.  Contact us here.

Since starting Brand Protect, in 2003, we have helped companies and individuals ensure that they can exploit the value in their brands. Unlike others, this firm does not only act for the trade mark owner but has represented individuals against overbearing trade mark owners. Click here for answers to FAQs on trade mark protection.

If you have a trade mark to be registered in the UK or EU that is unlikely to be opposed, you may be interested in the low-cost fee structure at our sister firm Trade Mark Associates (TMA).  Call Brand Protect or TMA for advice on which is the best route for your needs.

One of the founding partners of BRAND PROTECT is a Barrister and Trade Mark Attorney and all those in the firm are qualified intellectual property (IP) professionals. Should you instruct this firm, you will be working with individuals qualified to advise you and act for you in both the UK and Europe (not trainees).

Why register a trade mark?

  • Stops others from copying your brand name
  • Becomes a valuable asset, sometimes priceless e.g. COKE, LEGO
  • Helps raise brand awareness
  • Enables brand extension into other products or markets
  • Symbolises your quality
  • Avoids confusion with competitors.

For more detailed information on registered trade marks, please click here.

Possible problems if you don’t register your trade mark?

If you don’t register yours and someone else registers a similar trade mark then you may be forced to:

  • Withdraw all your products
  • Redesign all your packaging
  • Draw up a new publicity campaign
  • Pay compensation
  • Buy a licence from the existing/ new owners

If you prefer to rely on the common law to protect your brand and reputation, you will soon become well acquainted with the tort of “passing off“. Although you may have saved money by not registering, reliance on this tort is unlikely to provide a satisfactory outcome for you. You will find that lawyers’ costs will be 10-20 times the costs of a similar case that relies on registered trade marks.

The first trade mark registered in the UK

The Bass triangle (below) is included to show the first registered British trade mark and it is still in use today.