A trade mark is a unique identifier, often referred to as a "brand" or "logo". Once a trade mark is registered, the ® symbol may be used with the trade mark. Trade marks can include words, logos, colours, shapes, sounds, smells or any combination of these.
A trade mark enables businesses to distinguish their products or services from similar products or services offered by competitors. The main purpose is to create a distinctive and preferably memorable brand that customers associate with quality products or services. Satisfied customers will be more likely to buy the same brand again and refer the brand to others. A strong brand therefore helps a business both gain and retain its customers.
A carefully selected and managed trade mark can become a valuable business asset. As customers learn to value and trust a trade mark, they may be willing to pay more for a product or service bearing that mark. This enables a business owning a quality trade mark to stand out in the market place and gain a competitive edge over its competitors. For some companies an effective trade mark can become their most valuable asset.
The huge majority of people setting up in business completely overlook protecting their business or their brand names until it is too late. Although it is not an expensive process, the rules are complex and at the Accountancy + Business Advice Centre we can advise you as to what names or brands can be protected, undertake trade mark searches or registration for you and keep you up to date on the requirements for maintaining your trade marks.