Guest Writer 300

Trademarks & your beauty business: points to consider

By Guest Writer | 16 February 2021 | Business, Feature

Naildresser Web Feature

Nail stylist and business owner, Theresa Foddering (aka The Naildresser®) reveals why she chose to trademark her business – and the step you need to take to apply…

Theresa Foddering

Your business name is one of your most valuable assets and one of the first things a prospective client sees. Your business name helps shape an opinion about you and what you do. Once your prospective client becomes a regular one, it’s the name they say to their friends. It’s your brand; your reputation and symbolic of what you do. So, if someone else starts using your name, what can you do?

I’ll set the scene: My name is Theresa, but most people know me as The Naildresser®. Do you see that little ‘R’ there? Well, that is because my business name is a registered trademark. Many, many years ago, my client’s little boy referred to me as ‘The Naildresser’ and it just stuck! My hard work in the industry had experienced some reach and my work and presence was recognised in a number of places. I was very aware that my nickname was unique.

After some years, I had looked into trademarking my brand as I would have been heartbroken if someone set up a business with ‘my’ name. If their work was not up to the standard I had set for the brand I had built and reputation I had amassed, it would do such harm to my business. After some research, I instructed a patent lawyer. It’s not as scary as it sounds! I wanted to make sure I did this right as I had no idea about how to begin such an application.

It is very straightforward and swift process, providing there is no one registered with your name. Not only had I registered The Naildresser® but I registered varying options so there were no loopholes, e.g. The Nail Dresser®.

Over the years, there have been businesses set up with my name, and one in particular caused me a lot of grief. Although they were at the other end of the country to me, I started to experience a lot of ‘no shows’! Clients thought they had booked another branch of my salon – ‘booking there’ but using my online booking platform. This was great for the other business receiving my clients, but frustrating for me. I was losing out financially and the client was not getting The Naildresser service they thought they booked. One time it was the other way round; the client had booked an appointment on the other business platform and arrived at my salon. I felt terrible as we run full most of the time and I had to turn her away.

This business was blissfully unaware of my existence, as they had clearly not checked the trademark register when setting up their business, and they may have seen me through social media, as I owned the main handles, but perhaps not considered any implications. It was not until my patent lawyer had got in touch that the situation came to light.

What is a trademark?

A registered trademark gives you exclusive right to use your business name, nationwide, and use in the sectors that you identified in your registration.

There are many classes but for example, Class 44 includes services, nail, and beauty salons etc, and you can register your trademark in as many classes as you wish. By having this registration, it allows you to enforce your trademark through the court system. If someone is using your trademark, this is considered unlawful and Copyright Infringement.

Permission must always be granted for the use of a registered trademark. I would recommend contacting any offending business directly to resolve the issue but if this approach is not welcomed then you can enforce your rights by issuing a cease-and-desist letter.

Check the trademark register!

You can check your brand name on the national trademark register to see if it already exists. I cannot recommend this enough, and this quick and easy check is often completely overlooked in the excitement of setting up your business. If a word, phrase or even an image exists in the same classification of your business sector, then you cannot use it.

How much is a trademark application?

A standard application is £170 for one trademark in one class. Each extra class is £50. If you enrol the help of a patent lawyer then additional fees will apply, but they will do the entire process for you. Trademark registration takes around four months and trademarks must be renewed every 10 years, do not risk a lapse, enabling someone to take all your hard work, if someone else owns it – you have to change your business name!

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