How do I register a trademark? [Part 1] (Please don’t) DIY!
“How do I register a trademark?”: you do it incredibly carefully.
When asking yourself “how do I register a trademark” (or ‘trade mark’ as it’s spelled here in the UK) it is so, so, so important to take time to make the right choices.
Decisions you make about your trademark on “day 1” determine what your brand can do in the future. It’s one of the most important decisions you will make about your business – full stop. It’s as simple as that.
All too often we get calls from people who have self-filed trade marks. These people (due to a lack of know-how) have spent good money and registered trademarks that are at best; vulnerable – and at worse, useless or invalidated.
Yes, it may cost a a little less now to register your trademark yourself; but the ways it will restrict your business in the future will cost you a lot more.
Let us explain.
Disclaimer: this article may come across sassy, but we’re only sassy because we care!
(Please don’t!) do it yourself.
A good way of thinking about building a brand (and business), is it’s like building a house. One of the most important things to get right is the foundations.
If you get that wrong you’re going to have some lasting problems (that often end up ruining the whole house).
So of all the things about building your house, you’re most likely to get an expert to lay the foundations. It’s just common sense.
Trademarks and brands are the foundations of your business. And there are loads of ways that registering a trademark without the right know-how can put you on very shaky ground.
Cheap and cheerful (but for how long..?)
Ok, ok. So you might be saying: “well, you might say that – you sell comprehensive services at a premium!”
You’re half-right. We do offer comprehensive trade mark registration and protection. But frankly, comprehensive oversight and due diligence in registration should be the baseline offering – (and also, we are very affordable)! The fact this is considered an exceptional or “premium” worries us about the state of the IP registration business. (But I digress.)
Cheap and cheerful services don’t do due diligence. They are happier instead to take your money, file a registration and wish you the best of luck (come what may). These are “sunshine friends” (Urban Dictionary) of the worst description.
It’s frankly upsetting to see how much money is wasted, and how many clients come to us after spending hundreds of pounds with these services to find their mark invalidated instantly, or floundering at the first hurdle.
In truth, around 8 out of 10 of our queries about trademarks are from people who have self-filed having serious issues. Around 7 of those 8 have registered trademarks that they didn’t realise offer little to no value or protection (and sadly, there are no refunds when this happens).
Why you should “go pro”
Everyone is capable of a bit of DIY around the house (some of us more than others!) But ultimately, we’re not all racing to install our own: plumbing, electrics or load-bearing pillars – just to save a bit of cash! In those cases you simply need experts to carry the load for you.
There are so many reasons why this is exactly how trademarks work in businesses. So many in fact, we’ve split these into a separate article for you: How do I register a trademark ? [Part 2] 4 Reasons to Ask for Help.
Please take your time to read and consider them.
But ultimately, “how do I register a trademark” you ask? With all due respect, please, please, please – let us help!
For more info, or to speak to our award-winning intellectual property solicitors, call:
0113 237 9900
“How do I register a trademark”, articles by Martin Hendry and Matthew Lingard