Trademarks are perhaps the most familiar form of Intellectual Property that you come across in daily life – everyday the average person will come across countless products marked with the ® or ™ symbols, asserting the presence of a trademark, registered or otherwise.

Trademarks usually consist of a name, logo or other sign that is capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one company from those of another in the course of trade. Trademarks protect the reputation or  ”goodwill” associated with the company or product. They may be registered or unregistered and sometimes the use of unregistered rights may be referred to as passing off or unfair competition. Others may not use the mark (or similar) in a way that causes confusion in the mind of the consumer of the product or service. Trademarks can last forever, providing renewal fees are paid (if registered) and the mark remains able to distinguish the goods/services from those provided by someone else.