Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that securing their company name at Companies House protects that name as a trade mark. It does not.
Ensuring that your name and brand are protected through appropriate registration helps to protect the value of your brand, and ensures that you have effective remedies where others infringe your rights.
It is a common misconception that registering a company name at Companies House also provides trade mark protection and protects the company name and reputation from infringers. This can be damaging for two reasons:
- Businesses neglect to register their business name as a trade mark, assuming that it is already protected. The only protection given to a company after its name is secured at Companies House is that another company could not register an identical name. Registering a company name at Companies House does not prevent another business from using an identical or highly similar trading name in the course of its business.
- Businesses assume that once a company name is registered at Companies House, it is 'safe' to use that name without infringing anyone else's rights. The Companies House register and the UK trade marks register are entirely separate and so Companies House will not alert you if your chosen company name infringes another business's trade mark registration. The only way to find this out is to conduct trade mark searches.
What Are the Benefits of Trade Mark Protection?
A trade mark registration for the company name:
- Will enable you to control who uses your trade mark, and the manner in which they use it. Trade mark registration is particularly important if you intend to licence a third party to use your trade mark.
- Helps to protect your reputation and avoids customers associating your business's goods or services with the inferior goods or services of another business.
- Makes it easier, quicker and cheaper to obtain effective remedies when a third party infringes your trade mark - often without having to commence legal proceedings.
- Enables you to use the ® symbol to deter potential infringers.
- Is a valuable asset and can increase the value of your business to potential purchasers.
- Will last for ten years, and it can be renewed indefinitely.
If you would like more information on trade mark protection please contact our dual-qualified Solicitor and Chartered Trade Mark Attorney, Paula Williams on 0117 925 2020.