- • Trademark a name and logo is not obligatory
- • Is the company name and logo registration useful?
- • Trademark a name and logo in Poland
- • The company name and logo registration in the European Union
- • The company name and logo registration for selected world countries
- • Business name registration with the help of a patent attorney
- • What is better to register – the company name or logo?
- • Trademark a name. What it gives to the company?
- • 1. You protect yourself against attempted theft of your brand
- • 2. The fight against unfair competitors is easier
- • 3. The possibility of making money with the brand
Trademark a name and logo is not obligatory
At the very beginning, I will tell You that the law does not require to trademark a name of the brand. You can run a business for many years and do not even feel such a need. The more as there are regulations that minimally protect entrepreneurs.
But they are not perfect.
You run a kindergarten SUN in Warsaw. After a few years, your competitor opens a facility MR SUN in your area. Relying on the Unfair Competition Act, you can force them to change their name. However, you cannot achieve anything if such a kindergarten is established e.g. in Zakopane.
Remember also that even if you invented the original name of your company, you will almost certainly not be able claim copyright. Courts generally recognize that, although a single word may be a work in theory, in practice it is not enough original to be protected by copyright. As you can see from the fact of inventing the company name, the regulations do not give you any rights yet.
Is the company name and logo registration useful? Yes!
The situation will definitely change if you trademark a name and logo of the company and register it in the Patent Office. In that case, you will receive the protection certificate that will make you the real owner of the brand. It includes information:
- what is protected (the company name or logo);
- who is entitled to these rights (your data);
- for which products or services;
- on which territory you have exclusive rights (Poland, European Union, other countries).
Following the trademark a name registration, you receive a legal monopoly to use the given term. What is more, such protection includes not only identical but also similar names.
You run a kindergarten RAY in Berlin. You have registered the trademark in the Patent Office. Your competitor opens the MR RAY kindergarten in your neighbourhood. Relying on your protection certificate, you can force them to change their name. You will do nothing if the hereby kindergarten will be opened in Frankfurt.
Personally, I think that registering a trademark is like insurance. If you do not get hurt, you may have the feeling of throwing your money down the drain. However, if an accident occurs, insurance money can save you health and life. Similarly, we can talk about the company health or life.
Trademark a name and logo in Poland
If the protection in Poland is sufficient for you, you should submit the application to the Patent Office of Republic of Poland in Warsaw. Remember that in this application, the form of the trademark should be specified. The company name is protected by a word trademark and logo by a figurative word trademark. If there are no problems, you will wait about 6-8 months for the decision to grant you protection.
Costs are as follows:
a) the trademark application fees:
- Application fee in product class 1 – 450 PLN (registering the trademark online you will pay less – 400 PLN).
- Fee for each subsequent class – 120 PLN.
b) the trademark registration fee:
- 10-year trademark registration fee for each class – 400 PLN.
- Publication fee – 90 PLN.
In the Patent Office of Republic of Poland, this trademark has been registered. It is used to determine, among others kitchen utensils.
The final fees for 4 classes amounted to 2,500 PLN (810 PLN for the application + 1,600 PLN for the registration + 90 PLN for the publication).
The company name and logo registration in the European Union
Trademark a name when you operate also abroad. The company name and logo registration can be done in the European Union Office for Intellectual Property (EUIPO) in Alicante, Spain. The advantage of this procedure is that, when concerning the trademark registration, it automatically covers with protection 28 countries, including Poland.
It can be an attractive solution for companies currently operating on a national basis, but ambitiously planning to work abroad. In addition, it is possible to trademark a name in EUIPO within 4 months.
As things are not so perfect, remember that full official fees must be paid at the beginning. In the situation when the Office does not grant you protection, the money is not returned. As a reminder, in Poland these fees are paid in two installments. Once with the application and secondly only when the Office grants protection.
Fee for the EU trademark registration:
- Application fee in product class 1 – 1,000 EUR.
- Application fee (if made online) in class 1 – 850 EUR.
- Fee for the second product class – 50 EUR.
- Fee for each subsequent product class – 150 EUR.
In EUIPO, I found this pleasant trademark designed to determine e.g. computer programming.
The final fees for the 3 classes amounted to 1,050 EUR (850 EUR for the first class + 50 EUR for the second and 150 EUR for the third one).
The company name and logo registration for selected world countries
The EU trademark registration allows you to protect brand rights if you operate in the ‚near abroad’. However, this is not enough if you export your products to distant world markets. In that case, you should think about the international procedure. Applications must be filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
What is important in this procedure is that you extend the protection of an already registered trademark. In other words, firstly it is required to trademark a name and logo in Poland or in the European Union in order to later work with it in selected world countries.
Trademark registration and application fee:
- The basic fee for application and registration up to 3 classes:
- when reporting a word trademark – CHF 653
- when reporting a figurative word trademark – CHF 903
- Fee for each class above 3 – CHF 100.
- Fee for each indicated country – CHF 100.
(there are countries that set their own fees)
The protection of this EU trademark has been extended to 7 world countries.
Finally, official fees were CHF 1977 (CHF 903 basic fee and CHF 1074 for designated countries).
Customers often want to trademark a name and logo of the company and register it to the whole world.
Unfortunately, although the procedure before WIPO is international, it does not protect the trademark everywhere. Here we have around 100 world countries, such as the United States, Russia and China, but there are not many countries from South America.
Business name registration with the help of a patent attorney
Are you scared of the formalities associated with the company name and logo registration? I can help you. As a patent attorney, I professionally deal with a trademark protection.
Our family patent office has been helping entrepreneurs for 32 years.
Till now we have registered over 3500 trademarks.
This experience allows us to advise customers so as to maximize the chance of getting protection. However, when their trademark is not suitable – we clearly mention about that. Remember that the distance does not matter. I work completely online.
If you wish to use my services, fill the form on the right. We can also arrange a meeting in my office in Bydgoszcz.
What is better to register – the company name or logo?
I hear this question right away after demonstrating customer the trademark registration fees.
Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as it appears.
The point is that depending on the specific situation, the company name or logo protection may give you more benefits. It is impossible to predict whether a dishonest competitor will impersonate your name or graphic. In such a situation, the safest way is to register both versions of the mark.
Notwithstanding, this involves double official fees. Some companies cannot afford that.
So what to choose?
Below I present pluses and minuses of each protection form.
The decision is up to you. As a professional entrepreneur, assess what better suits Your needs.
In this form, you protect the company name. It does not matter with what font it will be written. For illustration, I point out that it can be protected this what is possible to hear in a radio advertisement. In certain situations, the notation of such a name is not valid.
It is essential how people will pronounce it.
- If the Patent Office registers the company name, you are guaranteed that it is not a descriptive term what is a quite common mistake of entrepreneurs. They choose names that cannot be monopolized of the legal side.
- Even if Your competitor uses a completely different graphic but similar word – it violates the law. The phonetic convergence is suffices to cause conflict.
- The word mark fantastically protects online domain. If your competitor registers a domain containing Your trademark, you can take it by force. What is more, the word mark allows to block your competitors to use your trademark in Google AdWords ads.
- It’s more difficult to register a word trademark. On the one hand, the Patent Office may find it descriptive and on the other hand it may be similar to an already registered trademark.
- The company name protection will not help you if your competitor impersonates your logo, but will use a different word.
In this form, entrepreneurs protect the company logo – the word in a characteristic graphics.When assessing the similarity of compared trademarks, it is necessary to approached that as a whole. Analyzing the similarity on the graphic, phonetic and semantic aspects, it should be determined whether a potential consumer can be mislead.
- It is easier to register a company logo than a name itself. Even if the trademark consists of a descriptive term, the graphic makes it distinctive.
- If there is a fanciful word in a logo, both phonetic and graphic aspects are protected.
- Every time we make a trademark rebranding, we should submit its new version to registration. The old trademark will not protect the new design.
- In borderline situations, we cannot be sure if our logo protects the name itself. Finally, the judgment ending the litigation gives answer to this question. This uncertainty scares off many entrepreneurs.
- If the company logo obtained patent protection only thanks to the graphic, it is difficult to enforce the law against your competitors who use e.g. look-alike domain.
Trademark a name. What it gives to the company?
In conclusion, I want to indicate in a few points what benefits gives when you trademark a name. I have already written about the first and most important asset – you become the real owner of your brand. So there is no need to repeat that again. I will point out next arguments that you may not have known about.
1. You protect yourself against attempted theft of your brand
Yes, you read it correctly.
Both the company name and logo can be stolen. And this happens more often than you think. Note that a brand which enjoys trust is a magnet for customers. And that makes people willing to pay more for a given product. Having to choose a SONY TV and cheaper ‘no name’ what will you select?
Your brand willingly would be taken over by a former partner, employee or business partner.
And they can do that quite simply. If such people know that you do not protect your trademark … they can make an application for themselves. If it comes to the situation that they will get a protective right to the brand you use, you will have huge problems. But it is easily to pacify such attempts.
All you need to do is to register your trademark first.
It is simple.
2. The fight against unfair competitors is easier
The trial based on the registered trademark gives better chance of winning. The point here is to demonstrate that brand rights belong to you. Everything is limited to presenting a registration certificate.
If you do not have such protection, you must prove:
- in which territory do you offer your products or services;
- for what period and
- under what designation.
In practice, this creates huge evidence problems.
Finally, it may turn out that the court will consider your rights to the brand, but only for selected products and the city area in which you operate. And this will inevitably mean that your competitor acted legally from across Poland. There was no risk that your costumers will be mislead.
And remember that you can wait for such a judgement for years.
3. The possibility of making money with the brand
The company name and logo registration allows to commercialize the brand.
First of all, you can grant a license to use the trademark. This is often part of the franchise agreement. Anyway, it can be said that this is the only way to license brand rights. As I pointed out, copyright does not protect the word itself.
Licensing a trademark can also be a way to optimize taxes. If you register the trademark for yourself as a natural person, then you can license the use of the trademark to the company. Interestingly, if the company goes bankrupt, the liquidator will not be able to take the trademark.
It is not formally part of its assets.
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How to register a name and logo? Is filling out an application enough?
To become the formal owner of a name and logo, you should register them as a trademark at the Patent Office 🇵🇱. This will provide you with a certificate of protection, which is like a notarial deed and confirms your rights to the brand.
🔴 However, not everything can be protected in this way. Applications are reviewed by experts who reject up to 28% of them. The most common reason for rejection is the descriptiveness of the name, such as „furnitures24.pl”.
🔴 Additionally, you must ensure that your brand does not infringe on the rights of other registered trademarks. Therefore, you should conduct a 👉 thorough legal analysis of the brand before filing an application.
✅ Such verification should cover identical and similar names. Evaluating the collision of trademarks is a complicated process, and making a mistake could result in a legal dispute. Therefore, it is worth entrusting this task to a patent attorney.
Who can register a trademark? Do I need to have a company?
Let’s start with the fact that it’s worth considering trademark protection only if you plan to make money from that brand. Otherwise, such a name cannot be technically registered. Registering a trademark ®️ is open to various entities, including:
👉 natural persons,
👉 entrepreneurs conducting business activities,
👉 foundations, and
👉 the State Treasury.
🟢 You don’t need to run a company to file such an application. Moreover, registering as a natural person provides up to 7 benefits✅. The biggest one is that after filing the application, you gain certainty that no patent troll will steal your brand. And lately, this has become a real plague.
Do you need help with the formalities related to the application? It’s best to contact a patent attorney👈 who specializes in this field. They will assess whether your brand can be registered and represent you before the Patent Office.