Trade mark trauma

Trade mark trauma

While most business owners install alarms, lock their premises and have security personnel to secure their business, it’s the intangible assets—or intellectual property (IP)—that often gets left unprotected. And for many businesses, that’s practically leaving the front door open.

A trade mark is like the public face of your business as it identifies where the goods and services you provide come from. It differentiates you from other traders and is the way your customers will remember you and recommend you to others. Your IP represents your business and is the personality that consumers come to know and trust.

Security for this valuable business asset comes from registration and enforcement. While it’s not compulsory to register a trade mark to use it, it does give you an enforceable level of protection that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Dealing with the infringement of an unregistered trade mark can be a difficult process requiring a good deal of time and energy, but with a registered trade mark sometimes all you need is a strongly worded letter to an infringer.

Finding that someone is infringing on your trade mark and realising you have no protection strategies in place can leave you in a state you can’t recover from quickly. Businesses can end up having to start all over—re-fitting, re-branding and re-building customer relationships. Many businesses simply can’t make it through that kind of upheaval.

So to avoid the anger, loss and disappointment – treat your trade mark like you would any treasured possession and secure it with a registration, monitor it and be prepared to enforce your rights swiftly if they’re ever at risk.

Thank you to the office of fair trading for this article