The intellectual property associated with a business name or system can be one of its most valuable assets, but only if it is properly protected. Any business that wishes to establish a national or international identity should take steps to protect the use of its name, logo or other intellectual property. This is preferably done at the outset when it can be done more quickly, easily and cheaply.
For instance, many people do not realise that simply registering a company or Internet domain name gives no monopoly on that name and does not prevent others from registering similar names in the same jurisdiction and identical names in other jurisdictions.
The only effective way to guard against this happening is to register a trademark or service mark in each jurisdiction in which one wishes to be protected or intends to carry on business. Some short cuts are available - registering a trademark in the European Union provides cover in all EU member countries, while registering under the Madrid Protocol covers a number of other countries.
Generally the starting point is to register a trademark within one country that is a party to an international convention. This then gives the applicant a six-month window in which to file in other countries and gain priority, e.g. the same verification date as the date of filing in the first country. This allows other registrations to progress when time and available funds allow.
Given the importance of trademarks, and intellectual property generally, to modern businesses,
Given the importance of trademarks, and intellectual property generally, to modern businesses, Sovereign has established an intellectual property division that offers the following services:
- Registration of trademarks anywhere in the world and advice on a suitable trademark programme
- Monitoring service to advise when others attempt to register similar marks
- Advice in relation to all aspects of intellectual property registration including designs, patents and copyright
- Advice and pro-active assistance to protect intellectual property rights from infringement and other abuse
- Patent and petty patent registration
- Domain name registration and escrow services