The Sky's the limit — the benefits of registering trademarks early

By Lorna Caddy

A company’s trading names, brand names and logos (and in some cases, the shape of the product itself) can all be protected as registered trade marks (subject to certain registrability rules).

Registration of a trade mark is not compulsory but it does give the rights holder a statutory monopoly for the use of that trade mark in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered. Marks can be registered for individual countries and/or it is possible to obtain a Community trade mark (CTM) for the whole of the European Union. 

Before launching a new branded product or service, a trader should carry out trade mark searches of the relevant registers in the territories in which it wants to use the trade mark. It is also advisable to conduct internet searches in order to spot (as far as possible) unregistered use of the proposed mark. Otherwise, there is a risk that the mark under consideration may infringe somebody else’s trade mark rights…

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