How can I protect my brand?

Written by Daniel Crate | June 5, 2024

Trade Marks

In a competitive market place it is important to protect the visual identity of your business.  An effective brand protection strategy secures the value in your brand.  One of the most effective ways of protecting your brand is the use of registered trade marks.

Can any brand be protected?

One issue to consider when choosing a brand is whether it can be easily protected.  Choosing a brand that is descriptive or generic of your business and the goods or services you sell can make it difficult to stop others from using the brand.  Also, it is important to consider where the brand will be used.  A brand can be interpreted in different ways depending upon the country or culture; it is possible that your chosen brand may be descriptive in a foreign language or dialect.

Generally, brands that are offensive, in bad taste or promote unlawful activity are also difficult to protect.

Expert analysis of brands at the outset can ensure that any goodwill subsequently acquired in the brand is capable of protection.

What about existing brands in the market place?

Owners of existing brand names have a right to object to the use of new brands that are identical or confusingly similar to the original brand.

A familiarity with the brands used by your competitors is a good starting point in identifying a new brand but even businesses in other sectors can object to your brand.  Choosing not to undertake brand searching before taking a brand to market or rolling the brand out across an organisation runs the risk disputes and the possibility of wasting the time and effort taken to develop the brand.  It is therefore sensible to make the investment before widely rolling out your brand.

When should I search my brand?

Brand searching should be undertaken at the earliest available opportunity, such as when a short list of names have been drawn up and certainly before it is incorporated within business and promotional materials.

The results of brand searching are often not definitive, but they do allow you to make informed decisions based upon identified risks before launching a brand.

If you need help protecting your brand and business, please feel free to contact one of our specialist intellectual property lawyers.

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