A trademark is an important part of your business strategy. A trademark helps you to reach out to anyone from customers to investors and can raise the value of your company.

While most businesses realize the importance of using trademarks to differentiate their products, not all realize the importance of protecting them through registration. Without a trademark registration, your investments in marketing a product could become wasteful as rival companies may use the same or a confusingly similar trademark for identical or similar products or services.

Registration is the safest way to get exclusive rights to your sign. Exclusive rights means that no one else has the right to use the mark on their goods or services, or in their marketing. If that did happen, it would be trademark infringement and you could pursue legal actions.

Given the value of trademarks and the importance they have in determining the success of a product in the marketplace, it is critical to make sure that the trademark is registered in the relevant markets. Trademark protection is possible to obtain via a national trademark registration, an EU registration (a Community trademark registration) or an international trademark registration.

Before applying for trademark registration you should find out if your trademark is unique and check that it does not infringe someone else’s right. In addition, when you have a registered trademark it is important that you take proper care of it. It is up to you to make sure that no one else uses or abuses it. One way of staying updated is to have a watching service where you keep track of what others are trying to register. By doing this, you have the opportunity to oppose their application before the trademark enters the market, thereby preventing a future infringement and the high costs of going to civil court.

The first step in building a strong trademark is to protect it – trademark protection is a strategic tool that can lead to better business.

For more information, please contact David Leffler.

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