How to Register a Trademark in The U.K.
If you're considering registering your brand name or logo as a trade mark you're in the right place. This article will explain the process for you. A brand is one of the most important elements of any successful business and a trade mark not only protects your business but turns your brand into a valuable asset.
It's best to think about your branding strategy at the very beginning, before spending any money on marketing and advertising. If you spend money on domain names, logo designs, marketing material or anything else before finding out if your name can be protected, you run the risk of having to change everything in the future.
There are two problems that can arise 1) You build a successful business but discover that your name cannot be protected. 2) You discover that you're infringing on a registered trade mark and the owner takes action against you. Both of these scenarios are avoidable by simply getting your trade mark registered at the start.
Where to start?
Before anything, start with a simple internet search. You need to know if there is already a business trading under your desired brand name. If there is, you might want to re-think your choice as it can cause many problems in the future even if the other company has not registered the trade mark.
You should also check that you can acquire a good domain name under the desired name. If there are already domains registered under your desired brand name in .com, .co.uk and/or other top tier domain extensions, you might want to re-think your name. Even if these domains link to products or services that are unrelated, it can still make it difficult for you to get traction within search engines as you're trying to grow your business.
You've done the basic searches and are happy. Whats next?
The next step is to find out if your brand name/logo can be officially registered as a trademark. There are two things that can prevent your brand becoming a registered trade mark. 1) Your trade mark does not meet the requirements set out by the IPO for acceptance. 2) There are already other registered trade marks that directly conflict with your application.
Not all words can be registered as a trademark. For example, a trademark cannot be descriptive of the product or service you offer. This is because everyone has the right to describe their own product or service or use common words associated with their product or service. It would therefore be impossible to enforce a trademark that's descriptive. An example of this might be 'London Barbers'. This is descriptive and would not be possible to enforce since all Barbers in London can describe themselves as a London Barber.
A trade mark must be unique and distinctive to identify your product or service from others. In the example above you could consider registering a logo as a trademark that contains the word. The logo would need to have creative elements that clearly distinguish it as a unique trade mark. The logo could be written in a specific font, have specific colours or use other artistic elements to make it unique. However, even in this case, it must not look visually similar to other registered logos in the same class.
A good way to start is by simply getting a Trademark Review & Report This is a quick and easy way to discover if your trade mark is likely to meet the IPO requirements for acceptance and if there are any obvious directly conflicting registered trademarks. A review can save you hundreds of pounds by preventing declined applications. Government fees are non refundable if you apply directly and if your application is declined you will loose all fees paid. But, if you get a Trademark Review & Report and we give your trademark the green light, we will offer a full 100% refund if your application is declined for acceptance by the IPO for publication in the Trade Marks Journal.
You can also run basic searches yourself on the www.gov.uk website to find out if there are directly conflicting registered trademarks in the classes you require. It is however advisable to get expert advice and guidance to ensure that you are searching in the correct classes. Also keep in mind that simply running searched will not confirm if your trademark meets the IPO requirements for registration.
It's worth noting that a full review is included when you file your trademark with us. If we cannot file your trade mark we will offer a full 100% refund. And if we do file your trade mark and It's declined by the IPO, we will also offer a full 100% refund. So, this removes all your initial risks of filing your trade mark with the IPO.
You're ready to file your trade mark. Whats next?
You have two options.
1) File it yourself via the IPO
2) Use a professional filing service
In the first case of filing your own trademark, It's very important to make sure that you have performed the searches and are sure that your Trademark meets the IPO requirements for acceptance. Remember you can use our Trademark Review & Report service, however we only offer the No Risk Guarantee when we are filing the trade mark for you. This is because we can be sure that the application is also completed correctly and inline with IPO requirements.
Keep in mind that when you file your trade mark directly with the IPO all fees are non refundable. So make sure that you fill in your application correctly and inline with IPO requirements. It's important to ensure that your class descriptions are formatted correctly and give you the correct protection. It's highly recommended to get professional advice and guidance even if you plan to file your own trademark
If you choose to use our filing service we will guarantee acceptance of the trade mark by the IPO or offer you a full refund including the government fees. We will also ensure that your application is formatted correctly based on the information that you've provided. Your application will be completed and filed promptly.
There are also other filing services out there. But, we are one of the only companies that offer a full refund including Government fees if the application is declined by the IPO.
If you would like to proceed with having us file your trade mark, you can start with a Trademark Quote, a Trademark Review or proceed to File Your Trademark if you've already had a review and quote.
I've Filed my Trademark. What's Next?
Once a trade mark has been filed with the IPO there is an initial waiting period until the trade mark is fully reviewed by an IPO examiner. This is the same procedure whoever files the trademark. However a key difference is that if the trade mark has been filed by us, you will have a guarantee of acceptance or a refund. If you file the trademark yourself there are no refunds offered by the IPO if your trademark gets declined.
If your trademark application is accepted by the IPO it will be published in the Trade Marks Journal. If you have used us to file your trademark, once It's published we will simply update the details and remove ourselves as the representative. All future correspondence from the IPO regarding your application will be made directly to you.
Once published in the Trade Marks Journal there is a two month waiting period called the 'Opposition Period' This allows others to view your trade mark and submit any oppositions to it should they feel that it infringes on their registered trademark. Providing that there are no oppositions to your application, you trade mark will go on to become registered at the end of the opposition period. You will receive a registration around two weeks after the opposition ends.
If there are oppositions to your trademark, you will have the chance to respond. You can either respond yourself or hire a Trademark Attorney to advise you and respond on your behalf. Each situation in this case is unique and depends on the responses and negotiations of both parties.
If thorough searches are performed beforehand and the trademark has been reviewed to ensure that it meets the IPO requirements, It's rare to receive objections. But, It's always a possibility that must be considered.
If you would like us to file your trademark or would like free help feel free to contact us on the details below:
020 8191 8935
How to Register a Trademark
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