(2021, Gov.uk) “A trademark is a sign which can distinguish goods and services from those of other traders. A sign includes, for example, words, logos, colours or a combination of these. A trade mark can be used as a marketing tool so that customers recognise products or services”
Your brand is a differentiator that sets apart your goods and services from your competitors. It helps your customers recognise your products and services and becomes an asset you can sell, market, license, and mortgage. Your values, your business beliefs, and your work ethic are reflected in your brand. In terms of cash and time, you spend so much in creating something unique, hoping that all that hard work pays in the future. Why not protect that investment?
Your trademark needs to be distinctive, so please check the list of existing trademarks before you start using it. Additionally, there are specific rules when applying for your trademark registration. It must not be:
- Against the law
- Deceptive (it should not be misleading)
- Contain specially protected emblems such as the Red Cross.
In the UK, the number of trademark registrations in 2021 increased by 75% compared to 2020. In 2022 between Jan-June, it increased by 23%, against the same period in 2021. See the following table and chart.
The following graphic also shows a positive trademark registration trend between Jan 2018 and April 2022.
Regarding international brands in the UK, the Madrid Protocol allows businesses from other countries to apply for trademarks in the UK. In 2021, the highest number of NON-UK applicants came from China.
COVID-19 affected the world in many ways, and companies had to respond to the pandemic with creative solutions. Many of them decided to diversify their portfolio, increasing the demand for trademark applications. Brexit has also profoundly affected the numbers as European brands want to protect their trademarks within the UK. The following graphic shows a positive trend in the number of applications and registrations. (source: IPO)
The brand registration process is a crucial step to protect your business. In my case, I did it after three years of trading when I was entirely sure I wanted to continue with the company and after proving that my business can be profitable and will last the test of time. Others decide to do it from the first day. It doesn’t matter what you choose; I think it is fundamental to the identity of every small business.
If you want more information about registering your trademark click here.
- (2021, Gov.uk) https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/facts-and-figures-patents-trade-marks-designs-and-hearings-2021/facts-and-figures-patents-trade-marks-designs-and-hearings-2021