Why register a trade mark?
If you want to have full automatic protection on your trademark, your sign must be registered. Once you have registered your sign, you have exclusive use of it and you have an automatic right to prohibit any other party from exploiting it without your consent. In fact, through the registration you can prevent:
a) other businesses from stealing your sign, or registering it before you for the same goods and/or services and getting away with it;
b) the use or registration of an identical or similar, potentially confusing trade mark for identical or similar goods and/or services.
The registration avoids wasting all they money and time you have invested to create and further your trade mark and protects it from misuse by other individuals or businesses.
It lasts 10 years and it can be renewed every 10 years. So, if you want to, you can legally protect your trade mark forever.
Note that in some countries, including the UK, unregistered trade marks are still protected by law, but the protection is granted only if the trade mark has been used for specific period of time on the market and has established a reputation. In this case, the protection is uncertain and the only way to properly protect and enforce the trade mark is proving its use in court (which would inevitably be more expensive than just registering the trademark to begin with).
If you need help registering your trade mark
Get in touch to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or need help.
This Basic Training article was written by Silvia Dal Cin for Legal Sidekick. Legal Sidekick is the legal platform for startups. We offer automated contracts and loads of startup legal resources and guides. For trade marks and other legal queries, contact us if you need help.