The intellectual property that makes your brand distinctive are your most valuable and enduring business assets, however they can be easily damaged and de-valued.

Here are four ways you may be damaging your IP and what to do about it:

Not using it within 3 years

Trade marks rights work on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis. A registered trade mark provides you with exclusive rights to use, license and sell the mark, however if you don’t actively use your trade mark in the course of trade it can be removed on the grounds of non-use. This is to discourage traders from registering multiple trade marks simply to stop others from using them.

Make sure that you use your trade marks as much as possible within three years of your lodgement in the course of trade relevant to the goods and services listed in your registration. 

Not using your trade marks as trade marks at every opportunity

Your trade marks are invaluable marketing tool because they distinguish you from others in the market. Take advantage of your trade marks as trade marks at every opportunity in marketing, promotion and day to day business activities. Give them a consistent style and capital letters to distinguish them as trade marks. If they are registered use the R symbol and if they are unregistered use TM.

Your trade mark is one of your most valuable business assets and the value of your trade mark increases with the success of your business. Not using them at every opportunity leads to lost opportunities for brand recognition and weakens the strength of the intellectual property.

Using descriptive trade marks 

Descriptive trade marks may be easier and cheaper to market because they more easily convey to consumers the product’s benefits. While in some circumstances, such as when a product is expected to have a short life, a descriptive or laudatory mark can be more beneficial.

However, if that product becomes success under a weak trade mark, it will be more difficult to stop competitors from using similar marks for similar products. We recommend using a distinctive and registrable trade mark that will stand the test of time. 

Corrupting or altering an established trade marks 

Using an established trade mark to sell an associated product may assist with marketing however it is important to consider the long-term impact a marketing campaign for a single product or range may have on an overall brand.

A trade mark and the brand identity is strengthen by long term consistent use. As such the use of a corrupted or altered trade mark may benefit a short-term project but could weaken the overall brand integrity.

If you would like to know more or need any assistance, feel free to contact us at Antcliffe Scott, we’d be more than happy to help!

Antcliffe:Scott Lawyers