Monday, 20 May 2013
The ease and importance of protecting trademarks
It is a small amendment but the change from ™ after a brand name to ® may seem a small difference but it means a lot in trademark law. My understanding is that anyone can put ™ after a name but it does not provide any security. It is not until the brand - in word form or as a design or device mark - is registered with the appropriate Intellectual Property office that true ownership is conferred on the owner. Sentomol has now registered both the word 'Sentomol' and the image above as a brand device. It was an easy process and one that I would encourage any SME to follow. The UK trademark authority website https://www.ipo.gov.uk/ was very easy to use and paying direct meant that no extortionate agency fees were required. All that is needed is a basic understanding of how trademark classes work. There are 35 categories within which a brand may have an attribution and it is worth registering a brand in all the appropriate sections for maximum protection.
I was amused (and the IPO do alert you to this) that on application, several requests came in from other European countries with very serious looking invoices for the trademark to be registered abroad. The IPO recommend ignoring these...which I rightly did.
We now are trawling through our material to gradually update our brand identity. Another step forward.