Why do I need a trade mark?Jun 14, 2022
This blog post was first published on 3 October 2020
One thing I get asked a lot by business owners is where do I start?
Many entrepreneurs are too scared to take the leap and start with clients because they don’t know want to make a mistake and do something wrong or they know that they need certain legal documents in place but they don’t where to start.
Trade marks are something that new entrepreneurs but on the ‘nice to have’ list when it comes to legal. In preparing for this post I could only think of two reasons why someone wouldn't want a trade mark.
You might change your mind.
It could be a waste of money - this is only likely to be the case if point 1 is true.
Have you ever seen the MasterCard advert where they show the amount certain things cost and then at the end they say something like “Making it in time to see your sons winning goal, priceless’. That’s actually how I feel about trade marks.
Sure there is a risk that you’ll change the course name or idea and no longer want to use it. If so you will have ‘wasted’ £170.
The bigger risk however is that you fail to obtain the trade mark and someone else gets their first. If they do then you may have to stop trading using that name immediately. Can you imagine if that name is your website domain, signature course or on a podcast and you have to re-record the intro to every podcast?!
Obtaining a trade mark is really simple and next week i’ll be walking a small group of entrepreneurs through the process. I’ll be breaking the application process down into small chunks so that by the end of the week you can file for your trade mark.
I know that you’re also probably thinking, but I'm such a small business, or it’s just me, do I really need a trade mark. I understand that. Take my business as an example, I realised one day that if someone else thought of the name Lucy Legal and protected it with a trade mark I would have to stop using it. I don’t really ever mention that I have the trade mark but I need it to protect my business. So perhaps you're known as “The Busy Coach”, or you have “The Brilliant Method to Getting New Clients” not great names obviously but replace the word “Busy” before coach and insert your expertise. If someone else thinks of that name too and protects it, the likelihood is they won’t want you to keep using it. Brand protection with a trade mark is not so much about flashing your trade mark around but protecting your brand from others who may think they’re onto a great idea, when actually you thought of it first.
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