A trade mark (also sometimes called “a brand”) is the badge of origin that differentiates your products or services from your competitors’ products and services. A trade mark is usually a business’ most important asset. If customers are happy with your products or your services, your trade mark will allow them to identify your products and services in the marketplace and repeat their purchase.

Protecting your trade mark (e.g. via trade mark registration) is important; it will give you exclusive rights in the mark and will help prevent your competitors from marketing their products or services with the same (or a similar) trade mark. Note, if you do not register your trade mark quickly enough, someone else may and they could then try to stop you from using the company or product name you wanted.

Many things can be registered as a trade mark: words, names, numbers and logos (or a combination of any of these). A trade mark can also be a smell, a sound, a colour or the shape of a product. Be careful, however, the mark you choose should not be one that a competitor has already adopted.

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