How can you Exploit your Trade Mark?

Using your trade mark brings many benefits including the retention of control over, and continuity of, your brand. Indeed, there are many ways in which you can use your trade marks to your commercial advantage.

Trade marks can be bought and sold just like other forms of property. As all trade marks are unique there is no set value assigned to a trade mark and the amount that is paid for a mark (such as a brand name or logo) must be negotiated between the buyer and the seller. Factors such as the reputation and distinctiveness of the mark (such as the brand name or logo) will likely be considered as well as the comparative value of similar goods or services that are not sold under the trade mark in question.

You can also give other entities permission to use your trade mark by licensing it to them. You can choose what permissions you give licensees through the terms in your license, including licences over the manufacture, sales and marketing of goods or services under your brand. The advantages of licensing are that the responsibilities of enforcement, marketing, promotion and costs associated with your trade mark may be shared. Other businesses may also provide vital support and local market knowledge that you would otherwise not have access to, had you sought to exploit the trade mark by yourself.

Conversely, licensing commonly involves the sharing of know-how and revenue and, dependent on the terms of the license, a loss of exclusive control over the exploitation of your trade mark.

Other ways of exploiting your trade mark include franchising, sponsorship, endorsement and even mortgaging your trade mark.