The name of your business is one of its most important assets. Once you've done the hard work of choosing your name and making sure that it's available for your use, you'll want to protect it in every way you can.
This means following the laws that govern when you must register a fictitious (or assumed) business name. It also means filing for trademark protection.
Protecting your trademark basically consists of preventing others from using your mark in a context where it might confuse consumers, and recovering money from someone who uses your mark knowing it was protected. The laws favour businesses who first used the mark, and much of copyright law comes from the Lanham Act. The Lanham Act was designed to prevent trademark infringement. The law broadly prohibits uses of trademarks, trade names, and trade dress that are likely to cause confusion about the source of a product or service.
Infringement law protects consumers from being misled by the use of infringing marks and also protects producers from unfair practices by an imitating competitor.
Even if you are not yet using a trademark, you can reserve the right to use one by filing an intent-to-use trademark registration application with the European Trademark Office before anyone else uses the mark.
If the person uses the mark within six months to three years after the Trademark Office approves the trademark, then the first use will be considered the day the application was filed.
Before you choose a particular trademark for your goods or services, it is best to conduct a trademark search to ensure that it is not being used already - this will ensure that you are not infringing someone else's trademark reduce risks of a costly trademark infringement lawsuit.
If you use a protected trademark, not only might you have to discontinue using the mark - and lose all the goodwill you have gained with it - but you could be liable for hefty lawsuit damages and attorneys' fees.
You can conduct trademark searches through our Company. Our professionals will conduct on your behalf the trademark search. A patent is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the European Trademark Office.
The term of a new patent is usually 10 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in European Trademark Office. The right of a patent is the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention in the EU. Basically, a patent gives the owner the right to a monopoly on the use and sell of the invention for a period of time.
What is a Trade Mark? A trade mark is a badge of origin, used so that customers can recognise the product of a particular trader, and it can include, for example, words, logos or pictures. Trade mark registration is the most comprehensive protection that can be obtained to protect your business name, brand name, company logo or slogan.
When a trade mark has been registered on the UK Trade Marks Register it will remain there for 10 years, and can be renewed every 10 years thereafter.
The registration can last indefinitely if the registration is renewed at the appropriate time. Before an application is filed to register a trade mark it is essential to ensure that your proposed trade mark is not identical to, or cannot be confused with, any existing trade marks.
We strongly recommend, therefore, that a clearance search is completed prior to filing the application on either the United Kingdom or the European Community Trade Mark Registers. (European trade marks are protected within the UK.)
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