Starting a business is an exciting prospect. Despite this, often the case is that if you have not got experience in every area of business dealing, you will likely make a mistake. Coming up with a brand name might very well be one of those things that, although exciting at the time, could cause issues down the line if you have not carefully checked things out thoroughly before going ahead with a name. When thinking of a brand name, it is essential that you do a brand name check to make sure your idea is not already trademarked.
If you were to forgo carrying out a brand name check beforehand, you could find yourself infringing on an existing trademark. This could, at best, cause the need for rebranding, and at worst, cause you to lose money, or business and damage your reputation as a result.
With this in mind, read on to find out some of the key sites and databases you should look through when considering your brand name.
UK Government Website
Your first point of call would be the gov.uk website, which offers several useful resources on topics related to trademarks. The site is the perfect gateway to numerous databases where you can check if another company has a trademark similar to your brand along with registering or renewing your trademark.
For a more direct approach, you can also search the directory on the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) website. The IPO is responsible for intellectual property rights, patents, trademarks etc. By using this website, you will find out if someone else has already trademarked a brand name similar to yours and find out who owns a particular trademark. Through this website, you can search using either the brand name, image, phrase or the trademark number itself if you know it.
Whether you are considering branching out of the UK or not, it is essential that you consider international registration of your trademark. Not only could registering a name that already exists overseas mean you have to do heavy rebranding once your business steps on to the international stage – which could hamper your impact – but it could also be problematic legally. The EU IPO website has a search function that you can use to see if your trademark is already registered. If you’re looking globally, WIPO will also be a good place to conduct your search. You might also want to seriously consider running your brand name through its global translations. What sounds like a good business name in English could well sound like an insult or a joke in another language.
Can I Get Help with Checking a Trademark or Brand Name?
The simple answer? Yes, you can. Branding companies can complete this sort of work fairly quickly and easily Not only can they assist with ensuring there are no trademark issues, but they can also come up with alternatives if your chosen shortlist of names is down to zero.
For businesses both large and small, these types of companies are a godsend, as not only can they help ensure you’re not encroaching on someone else’s brand, but they can also look at how well your brand could sit on the local and global stage. And when it comes to international trade, they can help to ensure that your brand name does not translate into something less than palatable overseas.
Whether you choose to go it alone or enlist the help of a branding company, correctly checking your potential trademark could give you peace of mind that your business is, even if by name only, unique.