Solicitors for brand protection
Our clients come to us for legal and commercial advice to anticipate risks and opportunities so that they can make the rights decisions.
We combine our expertise of intellectual property, brand and merchandising law with a thorough understanding of commercial contracts, employment issues and data protection laws. We are also able to advise when things go wrong and offer mediation and dispute resolution solutions.
Ways to protect your brand
- Sort out the legal issues around fund raising for new platforms and investment into e-commerce
- Avoiding breaching regulatory requirements such as the regulations relating to e-commerce and data protection law;
- Negotiating favourable terms in commercial contracts including procurement, supply, agency, distribution, franchise and merchandising agreements;
- Ensuring technology agreements such as software development, collaborative and licencing agreements adequately protect rights and provide genuine commercial benefits;
- Protect and monetise intellectual property rights including designs;
- Create the right corporate structure to support business growth an d possibly anticipate new shareholders and investors;
- Ensuring you have the right director service agreements, employee incentives and employee exits; and
- Managing acquisitions, disposals and re-financing arrangements.
- Monitoring any negative or unlawful online statements about your business or brand or attempts to copy your products or use your brand name. Taking decisive and firm action where necessary to enforce your rights and protect your brand, rights or image.
We create trade mark registration and brand protection strategies to establish and maintain the brand. There is no artificial intelligence available to replace the intellect we apply to design the strategy which builds the brand. Working with us is personal and will open up access to the full range of commercial solutions should you need them.
Our trade mark service includes:
- Trade mark portfolio management;
- Ideas for generating more revenue. such as through licencing
- Protecting your brand by stopping others from infringing your trade mark.
Assets to possibly trade mark
Trade marks are not confined to merely the name of a company or product. Other concepts associated with the trade mark brand can be registered and protected such as:
- Logos ;
- Colours; or
- A combination of the above.
For many businesses sitting alongside the trade marks, are other assets that need protecting to support the brand.
Cost of the trade mark strategy
A basic registration costs around £500 plus VAT. We do bring costs into account when developing your strategy and adopt a lean start up approach where possible.
Most vendors develop apps to include in the phone. There are several registrations connected with the app:
- The source code used in the software will be protected by copyright and confidential information;
- The display of the app can be protected through design rights;
- The name of the app can be trade marked; and
- Any logos used to identify the app can be registered as trade marks.
Identify the trade marks
Every business will have a number of trade marks to register. We can look at your business as a whole and your products and services and identify which trade marks you should consider registering in the UK, EU and internationally.
Identify the jurisdiction
We will speak to you about your business objectives in order to find out whether you need to register your trade mark in other jurisdictions. In a bid to save money, it is tempting to limit the number of registrations. However this can be detrimental to growth and expansion. If in the future you start trading in another country, you might not be able to register your mark there, as someone else has already beaten you to it.
Trade mark infringement
Most businesses have to deal with infringement of trade marks and branding at some stage. Our portfolio management service does include a full offering to cover any IP infringement including trade mark infringement.
Often, strong, early intervention coupled with appropriate evidence is sufficient to deter infringers. Most cases are settled without recourse to the courts.
Opposing trade marks which challenge your brand
If a trade mark is filed that you think is similar to your trade mark you may oppose registration. In the UK this period lasts for 2 months after publication and for European Community Trade Marks (CTMs) it lasts for 3 months after publication.
Generating revenue from your brand
Trade marks along with other brand assets are there to be used creatively, pro-actively and with imagination. We work with you to find ways in which the assets can be transformed into commercially valuable assets.
Ring fence the trade mark asset
It is not unusual to protect the revenue stream from intellectual property assets, such as trade marks, by placing the ownership in a different company to the trading company with a licence back to the trading company for use of the trade mark and other assets. The reason for this type of planning is to be able to retain control of the IP assets if the trading company goes into liquidation.
Without a structure, upon liquidation, the IP ranks as any other asset which is sold basically to the highest bidder by the liquidator.
Ideally, the ownership of the IP is placed in a separate company from the start. We do deal with moving IP assets once the business is trading but the risk is there may be tax liabilities arising on the transfer of IP if the brand has gone to market and has value such as identifiable revenue streams. The starting point in ring fencing of IP is to establish the estimated tax charges HMRC may place on the asset – we do provide guidance.
Franchising and licensing
A franchising agreement or a licence agreement can be used to gain further revenue. Through this agreement you as the owner of the brand can retain ownership of the brand but grant others the right to use and exploit it on terms that have been agreed upon.
Brand protection takes on a wider meaning under many commercial agreements involving trade marks because it is so easy to damage the brand. In practice, the agreement needs to be looked at in connection with how you will police the good name of a brand.