Trademark registration

 

In today’s competitive and global marketplace, protecting your business identity has become one of the most important steps you can take. The best way in which to do this is to register your trademark.

What is a trademark?

A trademark legally provides protection for a company or individual against anyone who attempts to replicate their mark. It allows a company or individual to maintain their competitive edge. It commonly comes in the form of a:

  • Name
  • Symbol
  • Design

A trademark application is required in order to register for your trademark to be offered the full protection of the law. If you do not make a trademark application it is easier for competitors to use a brand name or business logo similar to your own, meaning they may be able to reap the benefits of your hard work.

The only remedy you may be left with is pursuing a claim for ‘passing off’ which is expensive, time consuming and has a list of criteria that you will first need to satisfy.

How do I register a trademark?

When you register a trademark in the UK the process is completed through the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), giving the registrant far wider protection and making any infringement much easier to deal with.

In order for them to accept your application your trademark must be a distinctive:

  • Word
  • Logo
  • Picture
  • Other sign that will clearly identify your goods or service from those of other traders

Made-up words, logos or pictures are normally distinctive, unless they have become customary in your line of trade. Common example of trademarks that will not be accepted are ones which describe your goods or services or any characteristics of them, ones which have become customary in your line of trade or are not distinctive.

The use of national flags as a logo are not allowed, as is anything deemed offensive or that promotes the breaking of the law, such as drug taking.

When you register a trademark you receive exclusive rights to use that trade mark for ten years in the UK.

How long does it take?

The application generally takes around six months to complete. Once a trademark application has been accepted by UKIPO, it will be advertised in the Trademarks Journal for a period of three months, which allows any interested parties with justifiable cause to oppose the trademark registration.

Opposition is the legal procedure which allows anyone to try and stop the trademark registration. They may only do this by filing the appropriate documents with the Patent Office.

Applying for trademark registration can be a lengthy and expensive process and therefore you may wish to seek legal advice before pursuing.

Are you looking for a lawyer specialising in trademark registration to help you apply for your business’ trademark? Contact Law can put you in touch with a specialist trademark solicitor to help the process run as smoothly as possible. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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