Am I free to use my brand?


You’ve chosen a trade mark to use on the goods and services you provide. You’re preparing to launch. There’s one big question… are you free to use that trade mark?

It is important to undertake trade mark searches before adopting your mark. These searches are significantly more in depth than, say, using an internet search engine. They are undertaken to identify earlier trade mark rights, which could be used as a basis for legal action against you.

We strongly recommend that you seek professional help with this.  It could end up far more costly down the line if you don’t. If you infringe someone else’s trade mark then you could risk being sued, and being forced to rebrand, which could be very costly.

There are various levels of searches available, from a brief assessment of “top line” obstacles, to a full trade mark clearance search. Territorial scope can vary dramatically and this should be taken into account.

It is therefore advisable to seek expert advice before adopting a new name or brand to lead you through this complex and important process.

Answer last updated: 17 Jan 2018