A staggering 90% of the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses haven’t protected their brand and are at risk, new research has revealed.
The Trademark Helpline surveyed more than 300 SME firms across multiple industries and found 27% of businesses haven’t taken basic steps such as registering domain names or checking brand names with Companies House whilst 98% admitted they haven’t registered their intellectual property.
According to the findings, whilst 27% said they had checked with Companies House, 19% had checked out domain names with 23% doing, just 6% had actually trademarked their business.
But despite not being protected by law, 85% believe they have brand, with 80% using that brand on livery and print material, and 82% using their brand online and in social media.
It is quite astounding that so many companies haven’t done even the basics to protect their brand,” said
Ric Williams from Trademark Helpline said: “It really is a false economy not to protect your brand, after all for many SME’s their reputation is what generates their custom.
“We have seen companies go under or being held to ransom by someone buying their domain name. Most commonly, we have cases where someone else has piggy-backed on their success, trading on their name and where companies have had to do a total re-brand, which is not what you want to do in this financial climate.”