Register your Trade Mark at the start or face having to rename yourbusiness
“I set up my new business 6 months ago and things had been going well.Whilst I hadn’t yet taken a salary, I hoped to do so next month and waslooking forward to treating my family to dinner! Then, out of the blue, Ireceived a very stern letter from a firm of Trade Mark Attorneys threateningto issue proceedings for Trade Mark Infringement and Passing Off againstme and demanding that I pay an award of costs. Apparently I had beenusing their client’s registered Trade Mark in relation to similar goods andservices to those covered by their registration. To make matters worse, myGoogle Adwords campaign was immediately stopped in its tracks byGoogle and my Ebay adverts were also taken down by the other side. Atthe same time, I noticed that one of my main competitors, a few streetsaway, had hyphenated my domain name, registered it, and was directingtraffic to their website. My business was suddenly looking very uncertainand I was facing financial ruin.”Don’t hide behind the common misconception that “this won’t happen tome” because believe me, it does. I am an Attorney that acts for clients onboth sides of the fence – the Claimant enforcing registered rights and theunwary Defendant trying to salvage their business in the face of aninfringement attack. Time after time, I hear myself saying “if only you hadregistered your Trade Mark at the outset, the situation could have been sodifferent and very much less costly”.
Build your business with brick not straw because there could be wolfat the door
It is a brave (or foolhardy) person that buys a house without a survey, be ita basic homebuyer or a full structural survey. So why do people think thatthey can create or buy a brand and not conduct some basic due diligence tocheck for prior conflicting Trade Mark Applications/Registrations. After all, aTrade Mark is also property and an asset.In order to register a Trade Mark, it must be distinctive, that is, notdescriptive of the goods/services in respect of which protection is soughtand it must not conflict (i.e. be identical or confusingly similar) with earlier