Trade mark success for law firm

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Ben Travers

A leading south west law firm has revealed that it has a 93% success rate for trade mark filings.

The intellectual property team at Stephens Scown LLP has filed hundreds of trade marks for clients in the south West and beyond, in a number of sectors including food and drink, leisure, fashion, consumer goods, motorsport and technology. Its 93% success rate covers trade marks filed in the UK and EU from April 2017 to April 2018.

“Registering a trade mark is an important step in protecting a business’s brand, which is often its most valuable asset,” said Ben Travers, Stephens Scown’s head of intellectual property and IT.

“It can also be leveraged commercially to make money for a business if done correctly.

“However, there are many things that can go wrong in the registration process, from not making your trade mark filing distinctive enough to making mistakes in the representation of the logo, strap line or wording, which can have a negative effect on the scope of your monopoly. That is why it is important to work with experts in trade mark filings.”

McDonalds hit the headlines in January 2019 when it lost a trade mark case over the use of the term ‘Big Mac’. Its use of the trade mark was revoked after McDonalds did not prove genuine use of it over the five years prior to the case being lodged by Irish fast food chain Supermac in 2017.

Travers added: “The fact that a firm as big as McDonalds can come unstuck in its trade mark protection is a wake up call to businesses. Getting trade mark registration and use wrong can be very damaging to a business. By relying on expert advice, businesses can take full advantage of their brand.”

Stephens Scown’s intellectual property and IT team is one of the largest specialist teams of its kind in the UK and advises businesses across the UK on how to protect and exploit their IP, contract issues and data protection. The firm acts for clients including St Austell Brewery, Arden F3 motorsport, Exeter University and Thatchers.