News

Brands at risk across Manchester as 94% of businesses don’t trademark their company, survey reveals

By Matt Scrafton

Brands are at risk across Manchester because 94% of businesses have failed to trademark their company, a new survey has revealed.

The study, carried out by Manchester-based The Trademark Helpline, polled more than 300 small and medium enterprises (SME’s) and found only 6% had trademarked their businesses.

Many firms are leaving themselves susceptible to potential infringements from other organisations by failing to protect their brand.

The survey also revealed 27% of companies had not taken the basic steps such as registering domain names, with only 2% saying they had registered their intellectual property.

“It is quite astounding that so many companies in the city haven’t done the basics to protect their brand,” said Trademark Helpline Director Ric Williams.

“When you think of all the hard work that is entailed in setting up a business, it really is a false economy not to protect your brand.”

UK trademarks are available from as little as £200 for 10 years protection, and with more companies trading in Europe and further afield because of the internet, it is vital businesses are properly covered.

Mr Williams also said: “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.”

Despite not being protected by law, 85% of companies have what they consider a brand, with 82% using their brand online and in social media.

Doctor Brian Sloan, Chief Economist at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “I am not surprised that the number of SME’s that actually take steps to protect their brand is so small.

“I wouldn’t have expected it to have been particularly large as small businesses probably lack the awareness and capacity to do so, though this is understandable.

“By their nature, small businesses do not have the capacity in-house or spare capital to devote to branding issues, but this does not mean they ignore its importance, especially as a brand itself can have considerable value.

“Whether there will ever be a larger proportion of smaller businesses that protect their brand is uncertain, but making the system as simple, straightforward and low in cost to achieve is important.”

Picture courtesy of Aboutworld via Wiki Commons, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles