You just got your company registered at the Companies House. Down the line, you decide to register about three separate trade marks which represent three different brands owned by the company, one of the trade marks happen to be the same name as your company and the other two are other unique names you have come up with.
Since you intend to grow your business by starting local, and in the near future expand to other countries, you have decided to register those three trademarks only in the United Kingdom for now, probably due to budget constraints.
A few years has passed and you decide to expand into other countries because business has been so good, only for you to discover that you cannot register two of your trade marks in another country because similar or identical trade marks already exist in that country.
This is a hurdle many businesses face and it will be a big challenge to overcome the similar or identical trade marks. The owners of these similar trade marks may prevent you from registering your own trade mark because it will cause confusion in the eyes of the public as to the origin of the product bearing the trade mark in that particular country. The reason this is so is because trade marks are territorial in nature. Unless your trade mark is a very well known trade mark like coca cola, chances are that your UK trade mark registration in the United Kingdom will not prevent the registration of the same trade mark in another country by a third party.
Let’s rewind to when you registered the company at the Companies House. A better approach to have taken was to decide what countries you intend to do your business in, now and in the future. When you have decided this, you take steps to get your trade marks protected in all those countries simultaneously. This may be expensive, but if you feel that the trade mark is important, it would definitely be worth it in the long run.
Bottom Line - Protecting your trade marks should be proactive and not reactive. You do not want to have spent a lot of money protecting your trade mark in the United Kingdom, printing marketing material and all of a sudden you find out that you cannot use that trade mark outside of the United Kingdom where you have growing customers.