Trade Marks, Designs
Why Register a Trade Mark?
Your brand is often your most valuable asset, and trade marks protect your brand.
Most people assume that registering a company name, business name or domain name gives protection against competitors who might start trading with a similar name. This is not the case. The only robust way to protect yourself against this is with a registered trade mark.
Once you have registered a trade mark, you have the legal right to stop competitors using it or something similar. No one else can then register the same trade mark in your area of business. It is exclusively yours.
A registered trade mark also gives you a protected environment for personal expansion and the possibility of franchise arrangements and licensing agreements. You can apply for a trade mark for only one country, or for a "Community Trade Mark" which covers the entire European Union.
If a trade mark is not registered, then it is much more difficult to enforce your rights in your brand. You would have to start a common law action against an unscrupulous competitor, who uses an identical or similar mark to yours, for “passing-off”. This is more difficult, risky, time-consuming and expensive than suing for infringement of a registered trademark. More importantly, having a registered trade mark is more likely to deter these shenanigans in the first place.
Once a trademark is successfully registered, it is valid for ten years and can be renewed every year indefinitely.
Trade Mark Services
One-size-fits-all plans rarely suit new or growing businesses. Instead, Marcella specialises in working with your business to map out a strong and cost-effective branding strategy, tailored to your business.
Typically, Marcella will:
- Undertake comprehensive trade mark searches for Irish and European Community trade marks. This helps to identify many obstacles quickly and inexpensively. Marcella can then provide you with practical, commercially-minded advice to help you decide whether to take a new brand forward or extend an old one to a new market or product range
- File Irish, European Community and International Trade Mark applications
- Handle any official objections or oppositions to your application
- Complete the registration process
Marcella can also assist with:
- Handling infringement and enforcement issues
- Attending oral hearings
- Renewing trade marks
- Ongoing monitoring of conflicting trade marks through watching services, to protect your brand
- Registering and maintaining domain names
- Handling assignments and licences of trade marks
- Registering changes or name, address, legal status or mergers