A survey carried out by fund and corporate law firm LCN Legal has revealed that less than half of Enterprise Investment Scheme fund managers have registered their names as trade marks with the UK Intellectual Property Office. 53% have not, which means that it may be more difficult for them to prevent others from trading off their reputation.
Paul Sutton, partner at LCN Legal commented: “At first glance, this seems surprising. Obtaining a trade mark registration in the UK is relatively inexpensive, assuming that no objections are received. And it gives major benefits – it allows the fund manager to put a stop to abusive use of their trade mark much more easily.”
The survey focused on fund managers which are listed as members of the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association, the non-profit organization which promotes investment in British small to medium-sized enterprises through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS).
Paul Sutton went on to say: “Choosing not to apply for trade mark protection is not necessarily a bad business decision. There may be unique factors which apply only to the business concerned – such as problems caused by a third party having a pre-existing, similar name. But for established businesses, the cost / benefit analysis is usually overwhelmingly in favour of trade mark registration.”
For more information on trade marks, see the article “When should I register a trade mark for my business?”