I’m in the process of starting up an online fashion business. As you can imagine, funds are fairly tight but I want to ensure I’ve protected my fledging business brand name as much as possible. I’ve done some preliminary searches for trademarks via the IPO as well as online generally and the name I want doesn’t seem to be taken by other businesses. As far as I can see I have two options: Budget option (but less protection/deterrence): If I add a ‘TM’ after the business name, does this work mainly as a deterrent to other companies? If I send myself a special delivery letter with the company name, and than lodge it, unopened, with my bank – I assume this is more useful of a dispute over trademarks arises in future. I assume that buying the domain name I want, I have effectively protected it anyway as long as I keep renewing as required? Other other ways I can protect the company name at low or no cost? More expensive option (but more protection and more of a deterrence) As I have a basic understanding of intellectual property (via my law degree ten years ago) and there doesn’t seem to be any complications with my company name, I could apply for a trademark on my company name myself. Any thoughts on doing this myself? Finally, am I right in thinking that if I do apply for a trade mark, the key thing to protect is the company name as the domain name (once bought) would only be able to be used by me and would have the company name within it anyway? Thanks
The way trademarks work is that you protect your brand name and logo on the the class your products belong to. There are dozens of diferent classes. For example if you want to register a trademark to use in t-shirts design you apply for the ‘clothing’ class.
The first class costs around £200 and extra classes cost £50
The posting of your idea in a physical format to yourself via special delivery works well for music because musical copyright cannot be registered in the UK (as it’s posible in the US).
Registering your company with the Company House in Wales would give you some sort of protection in the UK since another company could not register with the same name.
hope this helps
It is well said before. However, registering company names and domains provide you with dfferent protections.
The only protection for a brand is with a trademark registration. Money will be well spent. Don’t delay the protection as it might get registered by someone else before you even wake up.
Good luck with the business!
Zoltan The best price on trademark registration at www.simple-trademark.co.uk
If you don’t register your brand as a trademark right away, you will begin to build up goodwill in the brand as your business grows. If another business starts using a brand which is the same and / or confusingly similar to yours, you would potentially have a passing off claim against that other business (sometimes referred to as protection for unregistered trademarks),
We appreciate that ‘prevention is better than cure’ and that litigation is invariably seen as a last restort, but the above may give you a degree of comfort if you don’t have the budget to apply for a trademark now.
We’re not a firm of solicitors and the above is intended as general guidance only.
Hope this helps.
The Legal Mango Team
Best Regards The Legal Mango Team www.legalmango.com "A refreshingly different way to purchase legal services..."
It is probably too late to address your question. However, I would suggest that relying on passing off rather than defending a registered trademark is a false economy.
This is because to be successful in a passing off action you would need to demonstrate:
1. Your brand has a strong reputation;
2. The third party who is alleged passing themselves off as you had an intention to misrepresent themselves as you; and
3. You have incurred actual or likely financial loss as a consequence.
It also relates to the exact trademark used.
These aspects can difficult and very expensive to demonstrate in court.
In contrast, a registered trademark enables you to stop unauthorised use of idetntical or similar marks under the same/simlar goods/services it is registered with respect to. When you consider the level of protection available, and how difficult it is to demonstrate passing off, the registration costs are not that expensive.
I would not recommend doing it yourself, but I would say that: I offer professional trademark registration services. We can help you ensure that you obtain the broadest protection available and deal with any issues that may arise along the path from application to registration.
All Seasons IP Trademark Registration and Design Right Registration www.allseasonsip.co.uk
I take advantage of this topic as I’m in the same situation (more or less).
I’m in the process of starting up an online bookshop but I’m not sure in which category I fit in. I did some research and I’ve been told that I should both register the trade name & logo but they’re quite expensive so my question is: can I include those costs in the business plan as costs that I need funds for?
You can now pay 50% of the trademark fee upon application and if accepted follow up with the remaining 50%
Each mark (logo, name, slogan) is £200 to register
Having the company name and domain will not always stop someone using your details – best to register before you build up goodwill in the name etc
We charge £150 to register a mark but we can then advise you on the class, any objections raised and help in the event someone tries to use it.