Protecting Your Assets

Grant McCall, Solicitor

Grant McCall, Commercial Law Solicitor with AMD Solicitors offers advice to businesses

A commonly held misconception is that Intellectual Property Rights are only a concern for big business. If any business, large or small, relies on a trading name or logo as a projection of goodwill to their client base then this is an asset which should be protected by formal registration at the UK Intellectual Property Office. Without a registered trademark, the owner of a business faced with a competitor using their logo or a similar version is forced to fall back on the Tort of Passing Off. This will entail convincing a Court that there is valuable goodwill in their logo, that there has been a misrepresentation and that the business and/or its reputation has sustained damage.

With a registered trademark, the first party to register has the benefit of the trademark and a competitor trying to use a similar logo or trading name will face infringement proceedings.

The benefit of an early trademark application for a business logo is that once registered the trademark subsists indefinitely (subject to renewal every 10 years). The longevity of a trademark protects the trademark holder and enhances the value of their business in the event of a buyout by a competitor. In the event that a business should decide to exploit their business through a franchise then licences can be granted to franchisees to promote the business presence. Last, and by no means least, the trademark symbol ™ can be represented graphically alongside a logo which assures the end user of the origin of the goods or services. The Trademark Registry offers a search facility for all registered trademarks in the UK.

In conclusion, formal trademark registration is the safest form of protection and should be considered as an investment in your business..

Grant and the other members of the Commercial team at AMD Solicitors offer further advice and information upon legal issues for businesses (including a free first half hour consultation) E-mail commercial@amdsolicitors.com or telephone 0117

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