Trademarks – applications, licences and disputes

Protecting your brand with a trademark

A trademark can be registered in respect of your brand name and logo as well as for a range of other aspects of your intellectual property, such as designs, packaging, straplines and shapes, provided they are distinctive.

A trademark can be registered or unregistered, but it is much harder, and sometimes impossible, to protect an unregistered trademark, so it is always advisable to go through the registration process. Once your trademark has been registered, unauthorised parties are prohibited from using it or any similar mark in respect of their product or service.

Registering your trademark will also have a deterrent effect on those who might otherwise seek to take advantage of your brand.

Licensing your trademark

If you want to grant permission to someone else to use your trademark, you can enter into a licensing agreement. Benefits include payment, increased revenue, a larger market and the chance to collaborate with another business.

The licence terms will need to be carefully agreed and should include details of the trademark itself, identification of the product or service with which the trademark can be used, the area in which the product or service can be sold or offered and details of the quality standards required.

We have a wide range of experience in agreeing and drafting licensing agreements which will protect your brand. Where necessary, we will negotiate on your behalf to ensure that the terms of the licence are beneficial to your business and that they adequately protect your intellectual property.

Trademark infringement and disputes

If your trademark is used without your consent, it can damage your reputation and also take business away from you. This usually happens when an inferior competitor uses branding that is so similar to yours that the consumer mistakes it for your product or service. The competitor gains an advantage, while your good name will be sullied by association with the poorer quality copy.

For this reason, it is important to not only register your trademark but to take action to protect it from misuse wherever necessary. By ensuring that you enforce your rights and defend your brand as soon as you discover the violation, you will not only stop the current problem, you will deter others from following suit in the future.

At Hutchinson Thomas we will represent you in the event of any infringement and work to resolve any dispute as quickly as possible before the situation escalates. We always make every effort to reach an acceptable solution without recourse to the courts, but if litigation should become necessary you can be sure we will represent you robustly.

Contact us

Hutchinson Thomas is the first law firm in Wales to be awarded the Law Society Mark of Excellence. The firm and many of our lawyers are recognised year on year in the Legal 500 publication as leading individuals in their field.

We have experience in registering, licensing and protecting trademarks in a wide range of sectors. If you would like to discuss how to safeguard your brand, please feel free to call us on the following numbers or fill in our contact form.