Mikołaj Lech

patent attorney

A lawyer, who specializes in industrial property law, combating unfair competition and copyright. Thanks to work in Patent Agency he has a contact with the current problems of entrepreneurs.
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8 Jan

Rebranding – when it is a threat to your company? How not to lose a trademark?

Rebranding is a process aimed at changing the perception of the brand. This is manifested by for example modification of the company logo. Such a change can be drastic or quite soft. However, I don’t know if you know that rebranding can be a threat to you in some situations. A trademark protected in the Patent Office will not provide you with security, but also expose you to costs!


Rebranding – fashion or thoughtful decision?

Creating a good logo for the layman may seem something simple. Looking at the actions of the Polish insurance company PZU, one can come to the conclusion that it can be done by the first student advertising on eBay.

Create yes, but come up with?

Rebranding - when it is a threat to your company? How not to lose a trademark? Rebranding on an example of PZU. A new logo is on the right.

Professional design of the company logo is associated with a lot of time and energy. The final version is the result of the entire long process of learning about the company’s history, its mission and indicated needs. Specialists in this field are not only people who know graphic programs perfectly.

Here you need specialized knowledge in the field of corporate identity.

Rebranding - when it is a threat to your company? How not to lose a trademark? Gentle rebranding on the example of Olsztyn (new logo on the right).


But what’s the problem?

If you registered the trademark only in a figurative version, you may be in trouble. In fact, the new visualization of your brand is not protected at the Patent Office! Many entrepreneurs forget about this fact and are fully convinced that they have real protection.

And this is a mistake!

Only the word trademark on the occasion of rebranding also protects its new version. There, the protective accent is located on the phonetic part of the mark. So, as you can see, it is independent of the graphic design.

Rebranding - when it is a threat to your company? How not to lose a trademark? On the right, the new Bank Pekao logo



I will tell you right away that you are in a much better position than if you had no protection at all. You have a registered trademark. The most important thing is that no one can now file a sign similar to yours! And this is an extremely important issue. Remember that as long as your old trademark is in force, you don’t have to worry about getting a letter from “sad gentlemen” from the law firm asking you to change the name.

It doesn’t however look so great. If you don’t operate under the old logo, then after 5 years of rebranding, every person from the street can revoke your protection. Just accusing you of not using it. Therefore, you face a dispute before the Patent Office. And in the event of a lost refund of legal costs. Unpleasant prospect, right?

There is also another danger. If your competitor notices that you use the R in a circle symbol with the new mark – he can report the matter to the police. The characteristic R is a legally protected symbol. If it is used in a fraudulent way, it may result in criminal penalties. Although in this case the threat is rather related to presenting a negative image of your company.

Rebranding - when it is a threat to your company? How not to lose a trademark? New Getin Bank logo on the right.


What you need to remember when protecting a trademark

When it comes to rebranding, all you have no other option but to register a new mark. It is also a good time to think about what to choose a word or figurative trademark. It may turn out that in the current market realities you will be better protected by another form of the trademark.

Also remember that with a new application you must indicate the goods / service classes in which you operate. You can not add any extending changes to an already filed mark. So it may turn out that this is a unique opportunity for you to rethink your scope of activity.

By rebranding, you will not only refresh the brand, but the protection at the Patent Office will better suit your needs today.


In the context of what I wrote, you should also be interested in this recording:

Mikołaj Lech

Do you need legal help? Contact with me.
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Mikołaj Lech

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