It has been a while since I have put pen to paper and have been wondering what to write about. It was at the Mama Tribe UK ‘PowWow’ last week in Tunbridge Wells that the topic of conversation turned to Intellectual Property and the protection of the brand name. I told my story and why I feel so strongly about this and decided to write a blog on it.
The English Beagle is not the company name of my little business, but my trading name. When I was looking to register as a Limited Company, I discovered that Company House have a long list of rules for companies wanting to use the words British or English within their name. I decided on something different, but still wanted to protect The English Beagle. I decided to trademark the name / wording. It is a very simple and straightforward process and the cost is nominal. The registration is valid for 5 years, after which it is a simple renewal. Sitting here now, I am so thankfully that I did it 17 months ago.
About 2 months ago I was contacted by a Far Eastern registration company advising me that a local business wanted to purchase the local website domain names for The English Beagle. As the name has already been registered here in the UK, it is their duty of care to notify me and clarify my link to this particular company. As I had no connection with them at all, they proceeded to advised the particular company to select another name.
At the same time, I was advised that there was an appeal period in which the company could appeal and this had already started. It was at that very moment, I decided to do everything I could to protect The English Beagle name in that market and subsequently purchased the 4 domain websites. As I now expand into the Far East market, I know that I secured the name and that there will be only one English Beagle.
I have since discovered that the UK Intellectual Property Office has links with countries around the world, hence why The English Beagle name was flagged in this particular country. Unfortunately, it is known for local markets to register and trademark up and coming international brand names, resulting in many companies having to pay thousands of pounds to buy back their name and website urls in that particular country. Not only is it the stupid value the ‘owner’ of the domain/ trade name in that country puts on the Brand Name, but also the cost of lawyers. I am sure that many do this just to make money.
No matter what your business is, I strongly advise you all to look into trademarking and registering the brand name. You never know when someone else will want to use your name.
For more information visit the UK GOV website.