Why Trademark your logo? Because you want to protect your brand, the logo and all the hard work you’ve put into building your business.
Imagine, if you will, how you would feel if you’ve been working away, building your brand, investing the time, money, sweat and tears into it all, only to see that someone else has used the same (or a very similar) brand identity to yours?
Gutted. That would not be MINT.
Trademarking your logo isn’t a particularly difficult process and it’s not that expensive either, so if you want to ensure your brand is securely yours and protect it against third-part imitation, here’s what you need to do.
1. What are you going to trademark?
How do your customers identify your brand? Is it via a particular logo on its own? Or a strapline? A mix of words and the logo? When you’ve got this clear in your mind, you can decide just what you would actually like to trademark. It needs to be a unique symbol or design that actually distinguishes and identifies your brand.
This would certainly be the case if you’ve worked with a branding expert to come up with something unique to your business.
In any case, you can trademark a combination of text, pictures, strapline, shapes or the logo mark itself under protection law.
You can’t simply register a word that is in the dictionary (for example Mint on its own) or words that would describe the business (networking, a business club for example) but you can trademark the unique combination (MINT Business Club with the logo).
2. Do your homework.
There are a lot of businesses in the world. An awful lot of self-employed people.
You do not want to accidentally try and trademark something that has already been used and recorded by a different business. So do your research first by popping over to the Gov.UK website to check a trademark number, owner or phrase/logo with the IPO (Intellectual Property Office).
Also, check out this easy-to-follow guide
3. Get it done.
When you have completed your research and decided what it is you would like to trademark (and that it is unique enough to do so and not infringing anything anyone else is using) you have a couple of options. There are many legal companies that will offer this service for you, and if you’re worried, or not one for processes, then this may be the best route for you. See if the company that you are thinking about using is listed by the trade body at the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys.
You can get apply for a trademark yourself online by visiting the gov.uk website and following the step-by-step process.
4. One last thing…
Are you happy with a UK trademark or would you prefer a community trademark (which at the time of writing will cover all the countries in the EU)? Think about this carefully as there are different cost and time implications.
We waited around 4 months for our successful application to be confirmed for us and now two of our logos are fully protected as our intellectual property. MINT!
We’ve opted to add the TM symbols next to our logo to act as a deterrent to anyone thinking that they could nick or embellish the MINT Business Club name and logo mark that we would take action to stop them from doing so.
P.S. The difference between a trademark and copyright is…
Our company name and mark can be trademarked because they are unique to our business. Copywrite protects a piece of creative work or authorship (book, poem, artwork, course, online training materials etc) and is not a brand name.