A Simple Guide
There are literally thousands of hair salons across the whole of the United Kingdom. You may strive to be different but the chances are that you will find another hair salon which trades using your name or something very similar. This potentially could damage your business and trade on your salons goodwill.
If the hair salon has the same name as yours but is based a long way away chances are it could be just pure coincidence. Unless you sell on the Internet then it may be an opportunity by them to trade on your name.
With more and more small business going online the world is becoming a smaller place so is the need to protect your brand name has never been more important. Here’s some steps to take in our short guide to get your business name trademarked and registered:-
- Visit the ipo website at www.ipo.gov.uk trademark section
- Perform a search and check your name or trademark is not listed. This can be a general search or specific to classifications (classifications are basically business types that a trademark has requested it be listed and applies to)
- If there is not any trademark or name under your request chances are you can proceed to use the ipo’s forms to register the trademark these are self explanatory and can be download from their website and are very easy to fill in the fees vary but last look was around £250 plus vat. You are also charged for each classification you apply for extra.
- If your mark or text is already listed chances are you will not be able to register the mark if its in the classification same as yours. You also need to think about that the company with the mark has a good case to advise you to cease and desist the use of it (see more below)
- If you go ahead and register your mark once your forms are submitted they are reviewed you will be advised if you need to provide further information. Once complete the mark and its text is published in the trademarks journal and is available to all its members if this gets no disagreement the mark will be deemed as registered and you will receive a certificate this lasts between 3 to 5 years.
Enforcing a trademark
Its not a criminal offence to copy a businesses name but they are acts of parliament (laws) in place to help business enforce there business copyright. On of these is by using the trademarking service because it proves to a court that you have claimed the name and the text and paid and took the time to do so. In any enforcement timing is crucial when you registered the mark and who you believe to be copying the mark did. It could become very serious for a business trading under the name of another because technically a passing of good will can be claimed in damages from that company through the Civil courts.