When Do You Need to Trademark?
As a new business manager, you might ask yourself whether it is necessary to register your trademark immediately or if it is something that can wait until you are more established in the marketplace. You might wonder why, if you have already taken the steps to register your business name and your domain name, should you also register your trademark?
A trademark is the legal right that protects your brand. Without it, your name, brand or logo may not be yours and can potentially be taken – by force of law – by another party. A business name will not give you legal protection. Your trademark is also distinct from your domain name which you will have privately purchased and which only secures your website URL. Only by establishing your trademark will you be able to prevent others from using your mark or logo and confusing your customers which can ultimately cost you valuable business and income. You can read more about the consequences of not protecting your brand with a trademark on our blog post on that point.
When To Register Your Trademark
So, when is the best time to trademark? There is no law that states you must register your brand name as a trademark before you use it. Thus, it is possible to use your brand, get it out on the market, and then subsequently decide to get the legal protection of a trademark. However, this leaves you open to two possibilities.
Firstly, another party may claim your brand is infringing their rights, which, had you had a registered trademark you could have used that registration as a complete defense. Secondly, another party may start to use your brand or name and you will likely have very limited legal rights to prevent them doing so (and especially if they themselves have a trademark registration).
Both of the above cases are particularly frustrating if you have already been operating for several years and have developed good will in your name, as well as having stock that is labelled with your brand and difficult to change at short notice.
Therefore, the prudent course of action is to register your trademark at the time you are establishing your business or at the earliest convenience, to ensure that your business and brand are protected. Your trademark registration will be your sword and your shield to protect your brand. For a relatively minor investment, it is worthwhile.
Registering your trademark with us at Trademarkings is a simple and affordable process that provides invaluable protection for the future and success of your business. Give yourself the peace of mind by proactively creating what may end up being the most valuable asset of your business.