Trade mark investment: A scale-up's guide to brand protection and growth


Harness the power of trade marks to propel your scale-up forward.

Building a strong brand identity is crucial for achieving long-term success for most businesses. One of the most effective ways to protect, enhance and exploit it is by getting a registered trade mark. However, simply registering it is not enough; you need to manage it and use it too.  

Here are some tips on how to get a return on your investment.

Strategic branding

A well-designed trade mark not only distinguishes your products and/or services from competitors, but also communicates your brand values and uniqueness. Ensure your trade mark aligns with your overall brand strategy and resonates with your target audience.


A registered trade mark provides really strong legal protection for your brand identity and protects it against copycats. The cost of registration is relatively cheap for what you get. But you also need to monitor and enforce your rights to safeguard your brand reputation. Protecting it from misuse is essential for maintaining brand integrity and customer trust.

Market recognition

Using your trade mark consistently across all marketing channels can help build brand recognition and loyalty. Incorporate your trade mark into your advertising campaigns, packaging, and promotional materials to enhance visibility and create a lasting impression in the minds of consumers.

Licensing opportunities

Leveraging your trade mark through licensing agreements can generate additional revenue streams. By allowing other businesses to use your trade mark in exchange for a licensing fee you can expand your brand's reach without directly managing new product lines or services.

Brand extension

A strong trade mark can serve as a foundation for brand extension and diversification. Consider expanding your product or service offerings under the umbrella of your established trade mark. This strategy can help you capitalise on existing brand equity and tap into new market segments.

International expansion

Securing trade mark registrations in each country in which you’ll do business is essential to ensure your brand is protected there. Partnering with experienced legal counsel like LegalEdge can help streamline the international trade mark registration process and get the right strategy in place. DIY can be a false economy as you need to know what you’re doing when applying.

Trade mark valuation

Evaluating the financial value of your trade mark can provide insight into its contribution to your overall business performance. Conduct periodic assessments to gauge the impact of your trade mark on brand equity, market share, and customer perception. This evaluation can guide future investment decisions and strategic planning.

Brand reputation management

Protecting your trade mark is synonymous with safeguarding your brand's reputation. Monitor and respond promptly to any instances of trade mark infringement or misuse to prevent potential damage to your brand image and credibility. Proactive reputation management is crucial for maintaining customer trust and loyalty.

Use your trade mark to:

  • prevent competitors and lead generators from using/bidding on your brand name in Google ads
  • secure social media accounts and get accounts of infringers shut down by applying to the relevant platform
  • get websites of infringers shut down by applying directly to the website host,
  • prevent counterfeit products from being listed on online marketplaces by applying directly to the marketplaces to have them removed,
  • register with customs to prevent counterfeit goods from passing between markets;
  • ask domain registries / Nominet to cancel/transfer domains using your mark to you, and
  • oppose applications for trade marks that are similar to yours.

In the dynamic landscape of the tech and e-commerce sectors, the importance of trade mark protection has been underscored by various high-profile cases. See the following instances where prominent businesses faced trade mark challenges, highlighting the critical need for comprehensive trade mark strategies and vigilant brand management.

ASOS vs. Assos

ASOS, the popular online fashion and beauty retailer, faced a legal battle with the Swiss cycling clothing brand Assos over the use of the name ‘ASOS’. The dispute arose when Assos claimed that ASOS's use of a similar name was causing confusion among consumers. The case highlighted the importance of conducting comprehensive trade mark searches and ensuring that your chosen brand name does not infringe on existing trade marks in the markets in which you trade.

Boohoo vs. Ms Boo

Boohoo, a well-known online fashion retailer, faced a trade mark challenge when the now-defunct e-commerce company Miss Boo caused brand confusion. Ultimately, Boohoo succeeded in obtaining an injunction against Ms Boo in the UK courts which prevented Ms Boo from using their name and eventually the business shut down.

Threads vs Meta

Threads Software Limited registered a trade mark for ‘Threads’ in 2012 for their intelligent messaging hub. We understand that they have rejected 4 requests by Meta to purchase the brand so far, and that they intend seeking an injunction to block Meta's Threads app in the UK. Negotiations are ongoing, but this highlights the importance of doing comprehensive trade mark searches in all jurisdictions in which you’ll trade before you launch. It also highlights the power of being the first past the post to registration.

Whilst we’re discussing the value of ‘brand’ we should also highlight the challenges and risks associated with a rebrand (if you’re considering this). It’s crucial to conduct an identity audit to ensure key digital assets are available and avoid reputation issues.

Obtaining a registered trade mark is a valuable investment that can yield significant returns if managed strategically. By prioritising brand protection, leveraging licensing opportunities, and exploring avenues for brand extension, you can maximise the ROI from your trade mark and establish a strong foundation for sustainable business growth. Stay proactive, adaptive, and vigilant to ensure your trade mark continues to be a valuable asset.

LegalEdge can help with your trade mark registration and help provide ongoing brand management services. They’ll search trade mark availability, help you pick the right classification(s) and jurisdictions and get the specification right, which is key to getting the mark registered and working the way it should.

Check out their Quick Fees Calculator to see how much it will cost to apply to register your trade mark, or click here for more FAQs.

Want more information or a no-obligation preliminary trademark search?
3rd party contribution by
Savva Kerdemelidis

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