Guide

Trade marks

Benefits of trade mark registration

There are many advantages to registering a trade mark. A trade mark can be your most valuable marketing tool and can help you to:

  • position your products or services in the marketplace
  • protect your business identity
  • safeguard your reputation

Typically, the more successful your business becomes, the more valuable your trade mark is likely to be. Read about the importance of assets in business.

Do you need to register a trade mark?

You do not have to register a trade mark to use it. You can use an unregistered mark to promote your goods and service. However, if you do not register your trade mark, other businesses may be able to use it, or register it and prevent you from using it later.

Why register for a trade mark?

Registering your trade mark can help you get exclusive rights to use, licence, franchise or sell your mark. It can also help you to:

  • prevent others from using the same or similar mark
  • prove your legal rights for use of the mark and allow you to use the ® symbol
  • avoid reliance on common law rights (ie passing off) which can be difficult to defend

A registered UK trade mark may also help you to:

  • obtain trade mark registration in other countries
  • prevent the importation of counterfeit foreign goods

Find out how to make money from trade marks and protect registered trade marks.

If you choose to use an unregistered trade mark, make sure that you're not using someone else's mark and infringing their rights. If you use someone else's unregistered mark, they may take passing off action against you.

You can search for existing trade marks to check that you are not infringing on anyone's rights. Find out how to search for trade marks.