You have finally managed to get everything together and on track with your company, and now one thing you must do is register your trademark. At least, that is what we usually say. ‘We’ are BOIP, the official body that registers trademarks for the Benelux. You are probably thinking, ‘Ok, I can see why you're telling me it would be a good idea for me to register’. Believe it or not though, there are reasons for not registering your company name or logo as a trademark. We would like to share four of them with you in this article.
If you tick at least three of the boxes, then you can probably do without trademark registration.
What do you need to think about when registering your trademark?
Prepare your registration properly. By doing so, you will reduce the risk of other brands wanting to withhold your registration, or of your application being refused. On our page ‘All about trademarks’ you can read about what you need to take into account when registering your trademark.
Reason 1. I’m not at all worried about my competitor using my name or logo
You don’t mind if others use the name of your company for their own products and services. If they do, you’ll just change your company name, put a new logo on the building, get a new website; you’ll just do it. It’s not a problem. So, there’s absolutely no need to protect your brand as well. Ok, registration does give you a monopoly on your name or logo, so other people cannot simply just go ahead and use them. You’re not worried about that though, are you? So never mind about those exclusive rights. That’s box 1 ticked.
Reason 2. I’m not going to invest in my brand
You’re not going to build up a brand, now or whenever, because customers are going to find their way to your company anyway. You’re also not going to deal with any undesirable free-riders piggy-backing on your brand, which will save you time, money and energy. You’d rather put the € 244 fee to register your trademark for 10 years in your pocket. That's box 2 ticked then.
Reason 3. I only work locally
You only work locally, you’re not planning to offer products or services online and/or beyond your region, and you don't have any local competitors, right? You’ve enough protection with your trade name, and the difference between a trade name and a brand name, well, that’ll be fine, right? In that case, you don’t need to read this article. That's going to save you another 5 minutes, and there’s box 3 ticked.
Reason 4. I won’t be able to register my company name or logo
All the rules and regulations surrounding trademark registration mean that you're not going to succeed in registering your company name or logo anyway. That’s because descriptive trademarks or trademarks that don't have sufficient distinctive character are refused. It says so on the BOIP website. There’s not much distinctive character in the name ‘Bella Italia’ for an Italian restaurant, for instance. And a logo that's just a hammer for a carpentry business, that’s not distinctive either. Your brand isn’t worth doing all that research, so there's no point in even starting. Done? Box 4 ticked.
So, what did you score?
If you ticked three or more boxes, then investing in registering your trademark is probably not worthwhile. If you ticked fewer than three boxes, it might be a good idea to have another think about whether or not you want to register your company name or logo as a trademark. At BOIP we will be happy to help you with that, of course!
Register your trademark in four steps
Registration protects the value of your brand. Be aware: There is a lot to consider when applying for trademark registration. And there are costs involved. Use these four steps to check what opportunities and possibilities are open to you.
Start the four steps