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  • Writer's pictureLukas Pelcman

Registered company name is not a replacement for the trademark

Updated: Feb 14

I have encountered this several times recently.

The entrepreneur is aware that she needs to protect the brand, but for some reason she is convinced that she does not need a trademark.

After all, registering the company name will do.

Not so fast.

Benefits of trademarks

When it comes to brand protection, a trademark is truly the most appropriate tool worth pursuing.

It is not the only possible tool, but it is the most worthwhile of the available options.

A trademark is essentially an evidentiary shortcut. If you have a brand registered as a trademark, you generally do not have to prove that you have the rights to the mark in the event of a dispute. Just prove that you have the trademark.

Therefore, if you use a specific designation for your business and you find that a similar or perhaps identical designation has also started to be used by your competitors, then your position is significantly stronger if you have a trademark for the given designation.

In order to successfully prevent your competition from using the infringing mark, all you have to do is refer to the existence of the trademark. In the event of a lawsuit, if it gets that far, it will be sufficient to prove that you are the owner of the trademark.

The court will then consider whether there is a risk of confusion between the marks in question, taking into account the similarity of the marks themselves and the similarity of the products and services in question.

However, you will not have to prove that you are actually using the trademarked designation.

There is other way, but you don't want that

If you do not have a trademark, you can also defend yourself in the case described above. But it's a bit more complicated.

You will first need to prove the existence of an unregistered mark. For this purpose, you will need to provide a series of proofs of your use of the mark in question. Invoices, orders, advertising material, advertising, social networks and more.

Only if you can convincingly prove that you have actually used the given sign for a long enough time and with sufficient intensity for you to be entitled to it, the court will consider whether there is a risk of confusion between the signs.

The whole process is therefore significantly more complicated.

Save yourself the trouble, register your trademark

Registering a trademark can save you a lot of trouble in the future.

However, properly protecting your brand can help increase the credibility and value of your business.

If you are a startup or just starting a business, proper intellectual property protection can ease your path to investment. Checking the state of protection of intellectual property rights is usually part of any legal review, whether in the investment phase or later in the acquisition.

Some numbers

The costs of a trademark are relatively low. The price depends on the territory in which you want to protect your brand.

The official fee for a Czech trademark is usually CZK 5,000, and for an EU trademark it is EUR 850-1,050.

At the same time, this year, small and medium-sized enterprises can once again draw a subsidy from the EU fund (SME Fund) up to 75% of the official fee for the registration of trademarks.

Therefore, there is no reason to delay trademark registration.

Registered company name is not a replacement for the trademark
Registered company name is not a replacement for the trademark

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