So you want to register a trade-mark for your restaurant?

So you want to register a trade-mark for your restaurant?
By Chad Finkelstein
January 15, 2013
Register a trademark for your restaurant

Last month, I discussed the advantages of obtaining trade-mark registration before you start to franchise your restaurant. The term “advantage” may be understating the critical importance of trade-mark protection when you are licensing intellectual property to franchisees that are relying on the name and goodwill associated with that trade-mark in attracting customers. For most franchisees, it’s the name that got them interested in your restaurant in the first place.

But even before you start thinking about franchising, wouldn’t you want to know that your restaurant’s name can be protected? That, even if you have no expansion plans, someone won’t come knocking on your door telling you to change your business’ name because it’s too similar to their registered trade-mark? Or, perhaps just as important, that you have the right to knock on someone else’s door and compel them to change their name because you have the trade-mark protection for it?

As a result, it’s always better to find out sooner rather than later whether you are currently operating under a trade-mark that is even registerable. Although it is a difficult reality to accept, it is far easier (and cheaper) to change your trade-mark and retain your customers at the outset of your expansion plans than it will be once your business has grown. The comfort that a registered trade-mark offers a franchisee, rather than the insecurity of possibly having to change a name down the road, cannot be discounted.

Determining whether you offer goods and services under a trade-mark that is registerable is not always a straightforward exercise. There are many factors which the Trade-marks Office will take into consideration when reviewing a trade-mark application.

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