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Protecting designs used in business

09 May 2019

Generally speaking, trade marks are used to distinguish the goods or services of one business from those of another. Common types of trade marks are words, letters, logos, numerals and combinations of these. More unusual types of trade marks include sounds, smells, colours and shapes of products/packaging (e.g. the distinctive shapes of bottles for drinks).

While relevant in some circumstances, it is important to note that registering domain names and company names does not – in itself – confer any trade mark protection. Please note that further factsheets are available from the IoD which deal with [domain names and] business names.

Furthermore, other intellectual property rights can exist in relation to a trade mark. For example, a logo may also be protected by copyright. Therefore, as with all intellectual property, it is important to ensure that – if any trade marks are created for you – you consider ownership of those rights to ensure that (where appropriate) you own the rights.

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