One may ask, what would I need a Trademark for? To that, countless arguments may be made, but the biggest of them all is the distinction function of the Trademark itself. This is how customers come to internalize your business and distinguish your products or services. This is how you compete in today's highly competitive market and this is how you stay ahead. This is how you fence against potential competitors and their lookalike signs. This is how you gain traction and win the game of memory.
Nevertheless, due to the fact that Intellectual property is not one of the first things that comes up as an issue when creating new business, it often stays at the side-lines and most of the time without soliciting much attention to it.
However, protecting your IP and especially your Trademarks is an important step as this is one of your business's most valuable assets.
Below we share two misconceptions that often pop up when dealing with IP:
A company's name confers the same legal rights as a Trademark
You have made your applications for registering your company's name into the Companies Register. You get accepted. Now pause. This has nothing to do with the Trademarks Register, a completely different register. This has nothing to do with what a trademark stands for. It neither provides any rights nor does it protect against competitors.
If the company name corresponds with a trademarked name in the Trademarks Register, then use of the company may even constitute an infringement. The owner of the trademark is the only valid user of the products and services offered under the trademark and not the company name holder.
Therefore, registering is the only way to lawfully acquire rights and protection for your mark.
A google search is all I need before proceeding to registration
You have searched the internet and cannot find any sign relevant or any word close to the one you are thinking of. This does not mean that a similar mark does not exist in the Trademarks Register. This does not mean that someone is not already using the mark. This does not mean that similar marks will not impose a threat to yours. This does not mean that your mark will be accepted for registration, as similar marks may also stand in your way.
Searching the internet for the mark you are thinking of registering will almost never be enough to keep you on the safe side. You should always speak to a Trademark Attorney about conducting a comprehensive clearance search of all relevant trademark registers.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.