Your hotel’s brand name and its good reputation is of great value, something that you work a lot for every day. Legally the brand name is yours although some online travel agencies fail to respect it for marketing reasons and create AdWords for people who search for your brand name. (Google your hotel’s official brand name and see.)
It is time to take this topic seriously not only because of prestige but you can also spare yourself the vast amount of money to be paid as commission.
Below you can find the crucial steps of protecting your brand name:
1. Specify your hotel’s name
Think of the full and the shortened name as well e.g.: Grand Hotel Glorius and Hotel Glorius. It is complicated when your hotel does not have a real name – that is you use a city’s name e.g. Hotel Berlin – because you cannot register geographical names. It is the same situation with aristocratic or royal names as the family’s consent is needed, in these cases, you should contact professional representatives.
2. Apply for registration
(the registration procedure below is of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office)
File for trademark for your brand and register your trademark at the national Trademark Office – in Hungary: Hungarian Intellectual Property Office.
3. Opposition period: 90 days
A period of 90 days following the date of publication of the trademark application in the official journal of the Office starts, during this period a notice of opposition to registration of the trademark may be submitted by other legal entities.
4. Application fee
An application fee is to be paid within 2 months following the filing date of the application. The one-time fee is currently HUF 74,800.
5. Registration of the trademark
If the trademark application and the related sign meet all the requirements of the examination and the opposition period is over uneventfully, the Office registers the subject matter of the application as a trademark and issues a trademark certificate.
6. Submit a complaint to Google
Submit a complaint to Google that a given trademark and brand name is legally solely yours. Google will review your complaints and restrict the use of your trademark and brand name in advertisements. So ads using restricted trademarks in their ad text will not be allowed to run, which ideally means that googling your brand name will not result in paid ads containing your brand name. Your own website should appear on the top of the organic search results.
And that is the point…
Why would you send your future guests to online travel agencies if they are particularly interested in your hotel? To pay more commission or to experience that guests choose one of your competitors instead? Take action and it will pay off.
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