A trade mark is a sign that distinguishes the goods or services of one company from those of another. It is a ‘badge of origin’ telling customers where the goods or services have come from.
With appropriate use, a company can build a reputation in its trade mark based on attributes of its products and services, for example in terms of quality, price and reliability. This reputation is often the company’s biggest asset as it secures repeat business from satisfied customers and attracts new customers through recommendations.
It is therefore important to protect your trade mark to prevent competitors taking unfair advantage. This is best achieved through registration – a registered trade mark (RTM) prohibits unauthorised use of the same or a confusingly similar mark in relation to specified goods and services and entitles the owner to use the ® symbol which can act as a powerful deterrent.
Some common law protection is provided for unregistered marks through the tort of ‘passing off’ – wherever possible, however, we would advise you register your mark for the best protection.
We also advise in the related area of domain names, particularly in relation to their overlap with trade marks.