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Build your brand with the right protection
A company can possess both physical assets which may consist of bank accounts and stock inventories and intellectual property assets which may be a company’s trademark but also its invention patents, copyrights as well as protection of the design of a product’s appearance. Rights relating to these assets are regulated in the law concerning intellectual property rights, in which financial and in certain cases also intangible rights to intellectual property products are drawn up. Characteristic of intellectual property rights is that what is protected is not always visible or tangible.
Build the brand at an early stage
Protecting the company’s physical assets is important, however it is just as important to protect the company’s intellectual property assets. An enormously central asset for in principle all companies is their brand. A lot of time and money is often invested in building up the brand at the same time as continuous work is carried on to strengthen it. Everything from the quality of the product or services and also how the company invests in raising its profile through marketing is expressed in the value of its brand. Intellectual property rights are often a company’s greatest and most important asset, both financial and also intangible. Brand protection does not just function as a method of securing its existing value but also as an inexpensive investment method for raising its value. Building strong protection early in the startup process gives security and lays the foundation for development and expansion.
The most efficient way of achieving effective protection is through trademark registration. For registration to be possible it is required that the trademark consist of characters that can be reproduced graphically, words or numbers and figures for example but the design of goods or packaging may also constitute a trademark. The trademark must possess distinctiveness, which means that it distinguishes the company’s products from similar products. Due to the distinctiveness requirement, a trademark that merely describes the product sold cannot be registered, hence a purely descriptive designation cannot be registered. For registration valid in Sweden, application is made to the Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV) while the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) deals with trademark registration valid throughout Europe. Registration is valid for ten years and can be renewed In principle any number of times provided that the trademark is used.
Advantages of trademark registration
Through registration, an exclusive right is given which means that no one else may use an identical or similar trademark in their business for goods or services of the same type. In concrete terms, an exclusive right means you are given protection from anyone other than you using an identical or similar trademark in the sale or marketing of their products or services. If anyone encroaches on the exclusive right this is termed trademark infringement whereupon penal and legal liability may follow. Thus, the consequences of trademark infringement can be both expensive and time consuming for all the parties involved.
Registering a trademark protects you from use of your trademark by other companies but it also provides you with a form of guarantee that you possess and have the right to use your trademark. You avoid the risk of the investments you made in your activities, which directly or indirectly affect the value of your trademark, being lost. Trademark registration works as an inexpensive insurance against possible future disputes and gives you the time and security you need to maximise your company’s potential under a trademark you know is yours.