March 2016 News

Secure The Rights

Welcome to the March Newsletter, in this issue we tackle the common problem of overlooking the importance of registering trademarks, and offer top tips for business owners. 
On the back foot from the start… 

We do see plenty of people who come to us because someone is coming too close to their brand identity and they want to stop them, and more often than not they haven’t registered the mark. Sometimes it because they haven’t got round to it, or didn’t know they should.

We can help businesses who find themselves in this situation, however these type of cases are always made more difficult and more expensive if the mark is not registered. The worst case scenario is the client may be better of giving up the trade mark and re-branding the business.

Make sure you check out our blog with top tips on how to protect your Intellectual Assets. 
Design ProtectionReal Life

Edward and I appeared in the Bucks Free Press in February, discussing the case of one of our clients based in Amersham ‘Seasons Catering’. They had been trading for over a decade without any problems, however understood this was a high risk strategy. We worked together to secure the key word that defined their identity ‘seasons’.

Ten months after filing the registration, we received notice from the Trademarks Registry of a conflicting trademark application filed by a company with a head office in India. We took immediate action and the company withdrew their application.  If Seasons had not registered the mark, it could have cost 10-20 times what it cost them to obtain the registration, and easily taken a year or two to resolve.

Read the full story here
The Importance of Experience

Negotiating your way through IP regulations can be a minefield, and our experience proved dividends in Munich a few weeks ago. We appeared before the European Patent Office on an opposition to someone else’s European Patent. We secured a significant limitation to the patent, which our client was very happy with. The main reason why we were able to do that, was the patentee’s representatives were much less prepared, and were clearly unfamiliar with EPO practice. They were unaware of the number of procedural points that were going to arise, and had to respond on the hoof, rather than each point being thought out and a case put forward.

Our experience working with the processes and procedures provides a solid case for defending your Intellectual Assets.
Top 5 Tips
  1. Your Trademarks are a big asset of the business, if you haven’t already registered them, do it now.
  2. Stay Alert. Keep your team innovating, and chat to a patent attorney to find out if the ideas are patentable.
  3. Have you added new products and services or started trading in a new country? Your business may have changed, so check your registrations to make sure they cover the trademarks and the new offerings.
  4. Add in an IP check into your business process when you are developing new lines and new products. The earlier you file applications for IP rights the better.
  5. Use a professional, the experience and expertise they have throughout the process, from registering the mark to defending your registration, is invaluable, and can save you thousands. 
For more information about any of the issues raised in this issue, call us now on 01494 422626.

Have a great month!

Michael Downing, Downing IP

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