What can stop a trademark from being registered? Trademarks are essential to any business, as they protect the name and private company brand from competitors. However, it can be quite difficult to find out why something you want to trademark cannot be registered. At Coddan we provide an excellent service and specialise in trademark applications. Below are four common reasons submissions are rejected, and our skilled team will be more than happy to help with any problems you are having relating to your company name.
1. Exclusivity. When you register a trademark this confirms you as the legal owner of the brand or name. This prevents others from using your company name to provide similar or the same services and goods. When an application is successful it stops all other businesses in your field applying your name. Purchasing a domain name or registering the name of your limited company will not be legally binding. It is very important you check for exclusivity before deciding upon what to call your business as re-branding can prove very costly.
2. Infringement claims. When a trademark registration is successful it shows your company name is legally available in your business market. However, if you have been operating under a company name that another party holds the rights of, it is very likely they will take you to court for trademark infringement. As well as legal fees, you will also face paying substantial damages and having all your company materials, containing the name in question, confiscated and destroyed.
3. Sabotage by competitors. Failing to secure your name by trademark can allow your competition to apply for it themselves. This will shut you out of the market and will mean you have to spend a great deal of time and money to re-brand your company. While it might be possible to get your competitor's trademark revoked, this could cost a great deal in legal fees and be difficult to prove. International competitors have also been known to register trademarks in other countries to prevent their rivals expanding.
4. Retaliation. Because anyone can apply to register a trademark it can be easy for an aggrieved ex-employee, or former supplier, to take ownership of your company name if it isn't protected. We have also seen many disputes between joint venture partners. A common argument involves one of the parties registering the other's logo in a bid to gain an upper hand in negotiations.
Remember it is important to get your company name registered early. Feel free to contact the team at Coddan if you are looking for any assistance in applying for your trademark.