Does your park have a name which stands out from the crowd? Is there another park with the same name? Are clients confused? What if someone sets up down the road with the same name? Have you heard of trade marks or brand names?
A trade mark is basically a method of distinguishing the good/services of one organisation from another. Unregistered marks may be protected by passing off rights if reputation, confusion and actual damage can be established. But many marks can be registered thereby enabling easier protection.
It could be that you already use your park name as a brand. You may wish to register the brand as a trade mark and, even if the brand is not registered, you may have sufficient rights to protect that brand from others. There are some unscrupulous individuals out there who will look for successful businesses and try to trade off the good reputation.
In order to become registered a mark must comply with some basic principles:
- You must be able to describe the mark in words.
- It needs to stand out.
- It cannot be entirely descriptive of what it is being used for, so Bay View Home Park is highly unlikely to become registered. It is also rare for marks which indicate type, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value or geographical origin to be registered, although there are some exceptions which have proved they are worthy of registration by extensive use.
- It must not be amoral, deceptive, illegal, in bad faith, nor be a protected emblem.
- Finally, and possibly most important of all, it must not already exist for the same goods/services.
All in all, coming up with a unique trade mark is a difficult process. But successful brands can be extremely valuable. Try thinking of a world without the brand names Coca Cola, Apple, Google or Sky.
If your park name is individual, or even if you are considering a name change, it may well be worth looking at the rights you may already hold but also consider further protection.
Imagine being able to take full control of your unique name, building the business around it, stopping others from using the same, or even similar, name and generally increasing the value, or certainly the prominence, of your business in the process. All this can flow from a registered trade mark making the initial investment a cost effective process.
Intellectual Property Team
0113 227 9260