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Should You Register a Trademark for Your New Business?


Many businesses fail to realise that in this information age, intangible assets are as valuable and important (if not more), as physical assets. Additionally, a common misconception by new business owners is that a registration of a company is enough to protect and secure the business name as a trade mark.


It is vital that business owners take the necessary steps to protect their intangible assets from unauthorised use. One of the ways in which to protect your business name, logo, slogan or any other unique word that distinguishes your goods and services from others, is through the registration of a trademark.


In the information age, competition is fierce and using a trademark can help you brand your business, give you the ability to stand out from the noise and essentially help you build consumer trust.


Start-ups and new businesses are ever so often cash-strapped and then delay protecting their intellectual property. This should be carefully evaluated, as the relatively minimal expense, opposed to the need to institute expensive litigious action against an infringing party, may just be worth it.


Three reasons why you should register your trademark:


1. An exclusive right

A trademark gives the holder an exclusive right to use the mark in the territory in which protection is granted. The holder may restrain the unauthorised use of not only an identical or confusingly similar trademark, but also a company name, close corporation name, business name, trading name or domain name.


2. Prima Facie Proof.

A trademark registration serves as prima facie proof of the holder’ s right to the trademark. A trademark registration also constitutes a complete defence to any infringement action or claim brought by third parties.


3. Value

A trademark is a tradable commodity. It has value. Think of the NIKE, Apple, Mc Donalds, and Facebook logos and how much someone would pay for to own them.


If you have an established brand and intend on selling your business, your registered trademark will most certainly increase your value and ultimately your sales price. You can license the right to use your trademark, sell it, receive royalties etc.


Lastly, it is important to note that a trademark registration is territorial in nature. This means that its validity and enforceability is restricted to the territories in which it is registered. Careful consideration should, therefore, be given to filing applications in all countries in which the trademark is or will be used.


Should you wish to know more or have any intellectual property related queries, do not hesitate to contact us.


O’Reilly Law
Tel: 021 9488 273
E-mail: info@oreillylaw.co.za


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