93 ACID To find out more, visit www.acid.uk.com something that you may not know about with a more sophisticated search. • Ensure that marketing teams work in close tangent with your trademark advisor – creation can sometimes be at odds with what is already legally in place and brand clearance will mitigate those risks. • Registering new designs make sense but do check that there are no existing designs which are too similar. ACID Legal Affiliates know their way around the UK, EU and global databases and they know easily what can and can’t be trade marked. These searches can include domain names. • Once a risk assessment has taken place, it is a commercial decision to go ahead based on the facts provided, but you are in a better position having completed comprehensive brand clearance searches. • As always, keeping a vigilant eye on your competitors in your field is essential and communicate any concerns to your legal advisors. Brand Protection – trademark registration Following brand clearance, protection is the next vital step in maintaining brand identity. Protecting a brand ensures the owner has a legal right to stop others from using the brand. A trademark registration ensures the mark is exclusive to the owner. And the good news is that a trademark is a company asset, which can increase in value over time. A registered trademark will have a greater value than a brand which is not registered. Failure to protect the brand may result in exploitation and damage to the brand by the actions of others. Whilst owners may not have considered budgeting for brand clearance and protection, the benefits unequivocally outweigh the burden of cost, especially considering the amount businesses spend on creating a brand. ACID’s Affiliate Lawyers offer advice and assistance on trademark, design and patent registration, the commercial exploitation of intellectual property and dispute resolution in respect of infringement of your IP rights.