By Danielle Cooksley – Abel & Imray
- Be Distinctive
Building a strong brand with a descriptive trade mark is an uphill struggle. Your trade mark should differentiate your product or service from those of your competitors: an obvious point, perhaps, yet an important one.
Marketing teams may favour marks that immediately communicate something about your product or service as such marks are intuitively easier to sell to the intended consumer. In the short term, descriptive marks may help you to communicate what your brand is all about, however strong trade marks are not descriptors and will generally offer greater protection. From a legal perspective, descriptive trade marks are, at best, problematic and costly to protect and enforce.
2) Keeping your brand out of hot water
In our experience, many companies will often invest heavily in the initial brand creation and promotion before realising that they cannot use that branding without facing legal action. If a third party has already registered or is already using “your” mark, or a confusingly similar mark, in relation to goods or services which are identical or similar to yours, then they may have earlier rights that could be used against you, should you attempt to register or use the mark. Appropriate availability searches can help to identify any earlier rights that could pose an obstacle to your proposed use or registration of a trade mark helping you to make an informed decision on any risks.
3) Invest in protection from the outset
We are often asked about the value of registering a trade mark, particularly if the company is still in its infancy. When a company is in its early stages, there are budget constraints and trade mark protection can be seen as an unnecessary cost. However ensuring that you are in a position to enforce and exploit your rights to the maximum benefit is key to building and maintaining a strong brand.
As the Brand Protection partner for FDMB we offer a free initial consultation to help us understand what you wish to achieve and to help outline the options available.
You can contact Danielle and the team on 029 2089 4200 or email Danielle.firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more at abelimray.com