If you have been using your brand for a few years but have not registered it as a trade mark you are exposing your business to unnecessary risk. Another person or business may come along and register the trade mark and this means that someone else owns exclusive rights to the mark.
You do have what is called unregistered rights, so you can fight back. Unregistered rights mean that you have rights to the use of mark in the territory you have been using it in. So if you have sold products in Reading, you may only continue to sell products in Reading. This means that your brand is frozen in one place and you cannot expand and sell your products outside of Reading. Nowadays with the internet and online shopping you have really reduced your sales potential and cannot expand your business.
Many business that I have dealt with that have been in this situation end up rebranding. The costs of rebranding include a new logo, new domain name, changing stationery, changing names at Companies House, new social media sites. In the long run it is better if you want to expand your business.
It is much cheaper and easier if you register your brand as a trade mark before someone else does. A trade mark registration gives the owner the exclusive right to use the trade mark and prevent unauthorised use by others of not only an identical or confusingly similar trade mark, but also a company or domain name.
For further information please contact Dale Campbell at TradeMark Tribe by telephone (+44 208 102 9871) or email (dale @ trademarktribe.com).