Housing Association IP gaps?
Shopping centres are not the only part of the property industry where an extension of scope has had knock-on effects where IP is concerned.
“We as a firm act for a huge number of housing associations,” says Caroline Hayward. “Some of them are very longstanding organisations, which may have no trade mark protection at all, or they may have a registered trade mark which was filed many years ago. If there is a registration, it may just cover ‘housing services’, but the role of housing associations has grown to cover a wide range of ancillary services, such as job search advice, or help with independent living.”
“Your trade mark needs to cover everything that you provide. It may suit a private careers consultancy offering job search advice, or private companies offering building and construction or repairs services, to use your name or use very similar-looking IP assets, colour, logo etc, to imply you’re connected, when you’re not. Vulnerable people are very likely to be taken in by this kind of ruse, and that’s exactly what you don’t want, so make sure you are correctly covered.”