Before launching your business, check its name is available to trademark. Not doing so could lead to costly re-brands or others using it and damaging sales/reputation. Registering a business name does not grant exclusive rights - you must take steps further by trademarking the name for protection.
Kylie Jenner found out the hard way that you can’t just use a popular name without consequence. Her billion-dollar cosmetics company was challenged when she used ‘Kylie’ as its trademark, due to Australian pop star Kylie Minogue having an enforceable trademark already in place.
Trademarks are a type of intellectual property, ranging from phrases and symbols to pictures, sounds, smells or movements - even experiences created with these elements.
Trademarks safeguard businesses’ investments, preventing confusion and imitation of a brand. Kylie Minogue’s team had to protect her from being mistaken for another TV personality (Kylie Jenner) - ouch!
Trademarks help protect brands from being associated with low-quality products or unethical practices, as well as reduce confusion between similar goods and services. Many high-profile people and companies have taken legal action against smaller enterprises - including Louis Vuitton, Adidas & Beyonce Knowles - to defend their products’ revenue streams and reputations.
Safeguarding your business
Before investing time and money in registering a trademark, ensure It’s available by searching relevant databases. The registration process can take up to 7 months so double-check beforehand! Ms Jenner’s mistake serves as an example of why this step should not be overlooked.
Consulting a trademark lawyer specialising in the field can help simplify the trademark process and avoid future issues.
A business name grants you trading rights, whilst a trademark provides exclusive ownership of your company’s moniker.
A trademark can comprise letters, numbers, words, phrases, logos, images and more - or a combination of these.
To ensure a smooth trademark search and registration process, It’s advisable to enlist the help of an experienced trademark attorney.