Our trade mark department has extensive experience in all aspects of trade mark protection and enforcement.
In the business world, your trade mark serves to identify you and your products or services and trade mark registration protects that identity. Your trade mark can tell customers who you are, what you have to offer, and crucially, helps them tell you apart from your competitors.
Our trade mark department can help you through every step of the process of protecting your trade mark from choosing and filing your trade mark, through to safeguarding and enforcing it afterwards.
Among the services we can provide are:
What is a Trade Mark
A Trade Mark helps identify your company’s goods or services to your customers, and make them stand out from your competitors.
Just some of the highly recognisable trade marks we’ve registered for businesses include, O’Neills, Trinity College, Zed Candy, Aryzta and and Bewley’s to name but a few.
Since a trade mark is such an important part of your business’s identity, it’s important to register it to keep it safe. If you don’t, another company could register your trade mark, or something very similar causing confusion and taking advantage of your business.
Choosing a Trade Mark
The trade mark that you choose or develop has to fulfill the very fundamental goal of separating your product or service from those of your competitors.
Therefore, don’t try and use generic descriptive terms like chewy, crispy, tasty etc, since they don’t meet the legal criteria for a trade mark.
Our team of experts can help you choose the perfect trade mark that is fit for registration, so your application won’t be rejected.
Beyond just picking a name, when filing a trade mark we will also work with you to ensure that your trade mark registration ensures the highest level of legal protection.
Trade Mark Clearance Searches
Before filing a trade mark, it’s important to make sure that it hasn’t already been registered by another company, or doesn’t otherwise conflict with an existing trade mark.
Using a trade mark that has already been registered by another business, or one that’s too similar to an existing trade mark, can lead to serious legal trouble, including heavy financial penalties.
Part of our service includes carrying out a clearance search before filing a trade mark application, to ensure that the trade mark you are interested in is free for use and registration in the different markets you wish in which you wish to do business.
Trade Mark Registration
The final step of the process is registering your trade mark. But there are many different avenues to do so, and we can devise a strategy that maximises the protection you receive.
Our team can register a trade mark in the National registry of each country that you will be doing business in, or through the EU system which covers all the member states of the Union both current and future.
Finally, the Madrid Protocol system allows you to register an international trade mark and designate 91 countries which have signed up to that protocol.
Our team has extensive experience with all three systems, and know how to work with them to obtain the best protection for your brands.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no unitary worldwide trade mark or indeed worldwide patent system. There are, however, international treaties which enable simultaneous protection in a number of territories. For instance there is a European Union Trade Mark system which covers the 28 member States of the European Union and the Patent Cooperation Treaty under which there is unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in each of its contracting States. There are also a number of other International systems whereby protection can be sought in a variety of territories at the same time.
Do I need to register my trade mark if I already have the same name registered as a business name at the Companies Office?
Registration of a business name or a company name at the Companies Office grants no rights to the use of that name. Statutory rights can only be obtained by registering the brand as a trade mark although in some instances common law rights can be obtained by use of the brand.
The ® symbol or the word “registered” may only be used once a trade mark has been registered and it is an offence to use that symbol or word in relation to an unregistered trade mark. The TM symbol may be used even though the trade mark has not been registered.
I have launched a new product and now I have received a letter from X Limited saying that my trade mark infringes their registered trade mark and that I must stop all further use, withdrawn the product and pay damages
It is imperative before launching a product under a new brand that a search is conducted through the databases of the trade mark registers of the territories where the product will be used to ensure that a similar trade mark is not already registered. A search through Google or some other search engine is not sufficient. This usually avoids letters such as that received from X Limited. As to dealing with the letter from X Limited, the response would depend on whether the trade marks and products/services are the same or similar and in some instances whether X Limited has used its trade mark. In most instances we are usually able to settle the matter without the necessity of expensive litigation in Court.
Free IP Consultation
If you would like to arrange a consultation with one of our trade mark experts please contact us below: