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Ten key facts on trademarking your business name

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(6) Theres no need to register your domain name as a trademark

Registering your business name on its own without the .com will offer you full protection, because nobody can simply add a domain extension to a name that is otherwise identical to a registered trademark.

(7) Each registration covers specific goods or services in just one country

Registering a trademark only offers protection in one country and it only covers you for the specific goods and services that you detail in your application.

However, you can apply for registration in multiple countries with just one “bundled”application. The Madrid international trademark system covers nearly 100 countries, and the Community trademark system covers just the European Union.

(8) A trademark registration can’t be amended

Your registration has to be renewed every ten years. Although your business may change over that time, you can’t change the goods or services covered between renewals, so you should include all potential goods or services in your initial application.

(9) Anyone can use the TM symbol next to their business name

Adding a TM to your name or logo is simply a way of asserting a general claim to a trademark under Intellectual Property law. Theres no formal registration process to go through, and it carries no legal weight.

Only registered trademarks have full legal protection, and only registered trademarks can use the symbol.

(10) Taking legal action is up to you

Registration makes protecting a trademark easier, but taking legal action to enforce this protection is the responsibility of the trademark owner, not the registering authorities (the USPTO in the US, or the IPO in the UK).

Dave Clark is a branding and naming specialist and is co-founder of brand name store Novanym.com.

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