Running a business is about finding customers and generating a profit from turnover, but it is also about the protecting the business name and reputation you have developed as well as ensuring your logo is safeguarded too. One thing you could do is a hire trademark lawyer in Singapore from IRB Law, so that you get benefit from some intellectual property expertise. In fact, there are plenty of scenarios in business where a registered trademark will prove to be a good investment.
Understanding What A Trademark Is
A trademark is basically a unique symbol or word that is utilised as a way of representing your business or the products that it sells. Once you have successfully registered your chosen trademark that same symbol or series of words that you have chosen, cannot be used by any other organisation, in perpetuity, provided you pay the fees required and complete the paperwork correctly.
A trademark is a powerful tool for your business and there are many trademarks in use around the world which have become synonymous with the company it represents, such as the instantly-recognisable golden arches of a multi-national fast-food chain. If you are unsure of the disparity between a trademark and a patent, the fundamental difference between the two is that a patent is granted for a limited period of 20 years, whereas there is no end date with a trademark.
Obtaining Trademark Protection
The internet is full of imposters who often pretend to be affiliated with a well-known brand or even illegally pretend to be the brand itself. Others might simply try to gain success off the back of a strong brand reputation, so create a trading name or trademark that is remarkably similar and could easily be confused by a potential customer.
You will find that the lawyers working for all the multi-nationals who have invested heavily in building an iconic brand, will often vigorously pursue anyone who they think is breaching their trademark protection. The same rules of engagement apply to your business, whatever size you are. You simply don’t want anyone to prosper from your success in building a trademark that you own and have worked hard to develop, which is why you need to protect what you have.
Filing For Trademark Protection
It often pays to get good professional advice when it comes to filing for trademark protection, so that you get all of the angles covered and there are no loopholes that anyone could exploit against your wishes. If you have a trademark which clearly identifies the source of a product or service and it is either one or a combination of being a distinctive name, logo or slogan, then you should be able to apply to protect that trademark.
You will find that trademarks are granted at federal level in the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and once you have received official approval, your trademark will become protected at state and federal level. A good starting point would be to conduct a free basic search to check in the first instance, that no one has beaten you to it and already applied or registered a trademark that is close to the one you are considering using.
Gaining A Competitive Edge
You may be wondering why it is important to apply for a trademark in the first place. The main benefit of registering a trademark is that the brand or business name that you have worked so hard to develop, is valuable. It is valuable to you as the business owner and it has a commercial value, which also needs to be protected.
When you successfully obtain a trademark you are officially recognised as having a brand name that is truly unique, giving you a competitive edge in the marketplace. It means that you are the only one who is legally permitted to offer product or service that is relevant to that band name and logo. That level of ownership also gives legal status, which means you can take action against anyone who attempts to copy or impersonate your trademark.
Your Company Name
One potential area of confusion relates to the registration of a brand name and the company name. If you have registered your company name, it may not prevent others from using your brand. There are a number of business owners who believe that by registering the company and domain name, this also protects their brand identity too. Your trademark registration should encompass all aspects of the business and provide exclusive use, so if you are not sure, get some professional advice so that you are properly protected.