Why registering a trademark for your brand is easier than you think – and even more valuable
I’m proud to say that Are & Be is now a registered trademark!
When we decided on the name of our strategic brand design agency (based on my wife and I’s initials and ties to our proposition – we get you from where you are to where you want to be), I never thought I’d end up registering it.
Like many, I thought:
Why do I need it?
Isn’t it expensive?
What’s the benefit?
It’s not until I met Ed Conlon, Editor at Managing IP, where I work at the Bradfield Centre. He enlightened me to the world of intellectual property and encouraged me to consider protecting my brand in this way.
And that’s exactly what I’m doing by registering it – protecting it.
Protecting the name. Protecting the time and money that’s been invested. Protecting our livelihoods. Protecting potential.
Just imagine for a second that another brand agency came along with the same name but had diligently registered it?
What a devasting experience it would be for me to have to either rebrand my business, which I’ve put a lot of effort into building a reputation for or maybe even close it if the other company tried to prevent me from operating?
The potential impact would be significant.
So, how do you go about registering a trademark?
Well, you can either do it yourself via the UK government agency the Intellectual Property Office and work through a guide or – like me – go through a friendly IP lawyer. Like Matt Sammon, of Sonder IP. Ed kindly introduced us.
After a couple of calls to understand the process, price and impact, Matt categorised the classifications I should be applying for as creative, marketing, design and brand business, and created the respective documentation for submission.
Once submitted and approved it was out for public consultation for a couple of months to see if there were any legitimate disputes against the registration of the name.
After the allotted time had elapsed and no disputes were made, I received a nice little certificate to prove registration! Smile.
So, my takeaways are:
• It’s worth protecting your name and building value in it, no matter how big or small you are.
• It’s not as expensive as you think, and can you afford not to do it? That is the question.
• A friendly lawyer can really help you do it right. And right first time.
• It takes about 3 months (with no objections). Make sure you consider that in your plans.
• Your brand is your business. Why not protect it?
If you want to learn more about registering a trademark and protecting your brand, get in touch with me or the guys mentioned. We’d be happy to share our experience.