For businesses that sell online, where competitors are just one click away, trade marks have become crucial.
In the past companies in different parts of the country could share the same name or similar as they only advertised and traded locally. But in today’s online environment you're side by side on Google and competing against each other on Ebay and Amazon.
Without a registered trade mark your competitors can almost always get away with abusing your company or brand name on their website, in search engine adverts or metatags and SEO.
A common problem is competitors using a URL similar to yours to divert traffic to their site from yours, and they may even trade mark your name and use it to stop you trading with it. It makes no difference that your company was first using it. Or had registered the name at Companies House, or own the domain name.
Case Study - Would losing 33% of Your Online Business Matter?
Our client, who wishes not to be named so we'll call them Surrey Stairs, owned surreystairs.co.uk, the .ltd and other domains. Their main competitor, Bungle & Botcher, bought surreystairs.com from a domain squatter, got it ranked highly in the search engines and pointed it to their Bungle&botcher.co.uk website.
Traffic to the Surrey Stairs’ site fell by a third. Sales were badly hit.
And without a registered trade mark there was no certainty the domain name could be recovered and costs would be much more.