7 reasons to register a trade mark

August 29, 2017

You think you don't need to? You may want to think again.

Reason 1 - You obtain exclusive ownership rights for the trade mark in the territory in which it is registered and for the goods and services for which the trade mark is registered.
Reason 2 - When you have a trademark registration, it is much easier (and cheaper) for both you and your licensees, including your agents and distributors, to enforce your rights. Your rights are automatically established by the fact they are registered.  You don’t have to prove them.
However, if the mark is unregistered you have to establish ownership and reputation in the relevant territory and provide evidence that the infringing mark is damaging that reputation.  This can be difficult and expensive in your home territory and will be even more so in other parts of the world.
Reason 3 - A trade mark registration makes it easier for Trading Standards and Customs & Excise to seize goods or packaging bearing signs which infringe UK or EU trade marks or close down unlicensed traders.
Reason 4 - Registration provides official notice to others that a trade mark is already taken.   The trade mark will appear in any searches carried out by third parties in the territories in which it is registered, which makes it much less likely that a business in that territory will adopt the same or similar trade mark.
Reason 5 - As the owner of a trade mark registration, you obtain the right to put a ® after the mark, which alerts others to your registration and means they cannot claim the defense of innocent infringement;
Reason 6 - For most territories, if you have a trade mark registration or an application covering that territory, you will be notified if someone applies to register a mark which potentially conflicts with your trade mark.  Without a registration, it is up to you to find out if there are potentially conflicting trade mark applications.
Reason 7 - If you do not register your trade mark there is a risk that someone else will do so.  This potentially dilutes the value of your trade mark as well as making it more difficult to enforce your rights in the same.  The earlier registrant will also be able to block or delay your own registration of the trade mark.
If you would like to talk to us about the cost and procedure involved in registering a trade mark please contact Joanna Stephenson, Partner Joanna.stephenson@jwssllp.com or call +44 20 3701 7395.
Articles are for general guidance only and discuss the legal position in the UK at the time of publication unless stated otherwise. You must take legal advice and not rely on the information provided in our articles before taking action. We do not update our articles and therefore, past articles may not reflect the current legal position. Where we refer to Court decisions facts are stated as reported by the Court.