Do I need a Trademark?

Happy World Intellectual Property Day!

I was really pleased when the registered trademark for This Little Piggy was granted back in 2014 for my new business adventure. Feels like so long ago now, but time has also flown.

Trademarking is an interesting process. On asking the chap at the Intellectual Property Office, he said “you know it’s a rhyme right?”, but we decided I should apply, and it ended up sailing through which was fantastic.

Even BETTER (while it lasted) was an offer of 5 thousand pounds to enter a coexistence agreement with another company. I was subsequently advised to turn down the offer because of possible long-term restrictions, sound advice to this day – but an Aberdonian knocking back 5 grand having just left their job to start out on their own will always feel rather surreal to me.

So why apply for a trademark? 3 reasons it’s a good move:

1 – The common myth that if you register a limited company your business name is protected. It’s NOT the case – the trademark is what protects your business name and you can be told to stop using someone else’s trademark via a cease and desist letter, regardless of your limited company name.

2 – If you’re told to cease and desist, unless you win an appeal you must ditch the name and everything related to it – I’ve heard of people losing thousands on website, promotional materials, registrations etc in this situation – not to mention the vast time spend.

3 – I’ve also heard of companies who deliberately register trademarks used by others, to then request a monthly license fee from those already using the name – yep, it’s a jungle out there.

It’s very affordable to apply for and buy a trademark and if successful it’s yours for 10 years, not all names can be trademarked though.

If trademarking is a consideration for you and your business, it’s advisable to check things out properly with the experts at the Intellectual Property Office or independent specialists.

Make your mark and stay happy! Karen

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