Trademarks (or Trade Marks)
A trademark (or trade mark) is the distinctive brand or logo that your business operates with or your products or services are sold under. It is part of the intellectual property of your business. It usually comprises of a distinctive name or logo (or a combination of both). There are other forms of trademarks which do not fall into these standard categories, such as those based on colour, smell, or sound. It can also be a name, word, phrase, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements.
A trademark (or brand) identifies that the products or services delivered to the consuming public originate from a particular person or business. It distinguishes one product or business from another. It is in integral part of the consumer's perception of your business, product or service differentiating it from those of your competitors.
Your trade mark is established once you have created it and begin to trade using it. It is however an "unregistered" trade mark. It does not have the right protection from abuse or misuse by third parties or competing businesses. Registration of a trade mark creates a number of legal options, actions, remedies and monetary rights for the holder of the mark.
It is also a means to secure an asset (being the brand) for the business. Registration opens up the possibility of creating additional revenue streams (through licensing). A registered trade mark is a pre-requisite to anyone considering a franchise for their business. Often the registered trade mark is the core of the business being franchised.
As you will see from our other sections, the principal benefit of trade mark protection is that the holder of a registered trade mark may choose Court action to prevent infringement and unauthorised use of the brand.
You should seek trade mark protection for your products or business, for any of the following reasons:
- You need to guard against against piracy and/or counterfeit products
- To add value to your business and make it more attractive to investors
- It will be a business asset, registration lasts for ten years and can be renewed
- Registration protects you from the allegations by other businesses that you are infringing their intellectual IP by proving your right to use that name, logo or mark
- Your business is an internet or on-line business and your domain name is an integral part of the business. The mark can be used in applications for transfer, deletion of or recovery of overly similar domain names.
At Abacus Legal we are specialist trademarks lawyers. We can register your trade marks in Ireland and the UK and also your European Union Trade Marks in Europe. We always carry out pre filing searches and advise generally on the registerability of marks.
We protect the rights of trade marks holders with prosecution for infringement. We also act in defence of infringement proceedings. As always we advise of the costs and where possible agree fees with you in advance.