Trade Mark Services

Briffa has protected the intellectual property of many organisations, personalities and celebrities for over twenty-five years. Our trade mark filing and watching services sit alongside our licensing practice and other specialist IP protection and exploitation services, ensuring that you receive the necessary assistance to grow your business and trade mark portfolio.

A trade mark gives you the exclusive right to use your brand across every service or product you provide. We can review your potential trade marks before you invest time and money in registering them. We will help you assess whether it makes sense to do so, looking at all your available options, the cost and how it works.

An expert trade mark lawyer at Briffa can represent you at the UK Intellectual Property Office, the EU Intellectual Property Office and, via our network of like-minded, results-focused associates, anywhere else in the world.

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How can we help?

Trade Mark Registration

Successfully registering a trade mark requires care and attention to detail. It can be beneficial, for peace of mind above all else, to have a professional legal adviser support you through the process – especially given the importance of getting it right.

A Briffa trade mark lawyer can:

  • Undertake clearance searches for similar or identical marks
  • Provide tailored trade mark advice as part of a brand protection strategy
  • Draft and file the application with the relevant body
  • Support you through each stage of the registration process in the UK, EU, USA and beyond.

Trade Mark Opposition

During the registration process, third parties have the opportunity to review and oppose an application. If your application is opposed, or you wish to start a trade mark opposition, our highly experienced trade mark lawyers are on hand.

Our team can:

  • Defend your application against an opposition claim
  • Bring forward a trade mark opposition claim on your behalf
  • Draft and negotiate co-existence agreements
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Trade Mark Management

Once your trade mark is registered, we can help you actively manage and maintain your mark over time, including:

  • Monitoring for applications of similar or identical marks
  • Renewing your registration on time to avoid losing the mark
  • Transferring ownership of a mark in a sale or purchase
  • Licensing your mark for use by a third-party

Trade Mark Infringement

It is vital to act quickly when a trade mark infringement occurs. Given you have spent time and money registering your brand or product, the best remedy is to prevent or stop the infringement early.

Our team can:

  • Issue, or respond to, a cease and desist letter
  • Pursue, or defend, an infringement claim in the UK and abroad
  • Negotiate a settlement with your business interests in mind
  • Provide support and representation during litigation and court proceedings

Passing Off Claims

Unregistered trade mark rights may be protected under the law of passing off.

This law comes into play when a competitor deliberately seeks to benefit by confusing a buyer into thinking that the goods or services on sale have some connection with your product or service, resulting in your business suffering loss and damage.

Our solicitors provide legal advice on passing off claims, for those wishing to pursue a claim and those on the receiving end of a claim.

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Legal Insurance

Briffa offers a fixed-fee trade mark insurance product called BrandProtect. You can protect all of your brands for payment of just £190, including VAT, per mark per year.

You’ll also gain access to advice on any trade mark dispute covered by the BrandProtect service, plus a fighting fund of up to £100,000.

Simply call the BrandProtect helpline any time you need legal advice and support. You can make as many calls to the helpline as you need — it’s all included in the annual fee.

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Why work with Briffa?

We have helped our clients to register, protect and monetise their trade marks since 1995

We offer a free consultation to discuss your case before any fixed fee quotes are given.

We have offices in London, UK and in Europe, plus a global network of associates and industry contacts.

We offer an industry-leading service with short turnaround times and business-focused advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a trade mark?

A trade mark is a signifier of origin. Every business in the world has a name, and this is how consumers distinguish you from your competition. Owning that name is vital, and registering it as a trade mark is the best way to protect it.

But trade marks don’t just safeguard words. They can also monopolise logos or slogans and, in some cases, product shapes and colours. For this reason, a trade mark is a robust intellectual property right and something no business can do without.

Why are trade marks important?

There are three core benefits to owning a trade mark, which apply to every business. The first is obvious; registering a trade mark allows you to stop third parties from using the same (or similar) name for the same (or similar) goods and services.

Second, going through the trade mark application process is the best way to ensure that your brand name doesn’t infringe on someone else’s registered brand, which could lead to significant legal issues in the future.

Last but certainly not least, a trade mark is a significant commercial asset. It is often the first thing an investor or eventual purchaser of your business will look for as it’s a clear indication that your brand name is more than just “known” and is, in fact, “owned”.

How long does it take to register a trade mark?

The length of time it takes to register a trade mark depends on where you are applying. In the UK, applications take approximately 3-4 months. In the EU, it’s more like 4-6 months.

The key, however, is to get your application underway. As soon as you do, you’ll have a filing date and a trade mark number. This flag in the ground will be vital should competitors file an application for a similar mark after you.

What legal protection does registering provide?

Registering your trade mark provides your business with protection against infringement from third parties who may be seeking to exploit your hard-earned reputation. The damage this could cause is concerning. However, registering your intellectual property as a trade mark allows for swift and effective action against anybody abusing your IP. A registered trade mark forms a protective legal barrier around your business’s IP assets and prevents others from imitating your business.

Registering trade marks is also a sign to potential investors that you have secured adequate protection for your business, reassuring them that your brand is safeguarded.

Could someone object to my application?

Once the UKIPO has approved your application, it will be published in the online Trade Marks Journal for two months. This is to allow time for others to object to your application if they determine that it may be infringing on their previously registered trade mark. There are several reasons why somebody might oppose your trade mark application.

A third party might not formally object to your application at first. Instead, they may file a notice of threatened opposition. This extends the objection period by one month to three. A notice of threatened opposition allows both parties to communicate and negotiate an agreement without resorting to costly legal action.

What should I do if someone infringes my trade mark?

If you believe another individual or company is using your trade mark (or something similar), then you should try to collect some evidence, with screenshots and website links being best.

Next, you should speak to experienced trade mark lawyers. If that’s us, we will assess the details of the case and advise on the best course of action. The aim should always be to end infringement most quickly and cost-effectively.

What actions are considered trade mark infringements?

Under the Trade Marks Act 1994, an infringement occurs typically when a party uses branding (e.g. names, logos, colours) that is the same or similar to an earlier trade mark. In particular, with goods/services that are the same or similar to the goods/service protected by that earlier trade mark.

Furthermore, trade marks with a significant reputation are protected from copying regardless of the goods or services that the third party is selling. The idea is that certain brands are so huge, any form of replication will be an infringement.

What can I do about a trade mark infringement overseas?

Fortunately, Briffa has both an office in the EU and a network of associates worldwide. This means we can protect our client’s rights wherever the infringement occurs. We can oversee the process, direct the strategy and ensure that the costs are kept to a minimum.

What can a trade mark lawyer help me with?

A trade mark lawyer can help protect your valuable intellectual property. As standard, they can help file a trade mark application, submit or resolve trade mark opposition claims to a new mark, and litigate or defend an infringement. But just as importantly, they work as specialist advisors and problem-solvers for your business, helping you to maximise your commercial value through the intellectual property assets you own.


Case Study

It often requires creative thinking for a business to get around a trade mark problem. For example, one of our clients wanted to secure a logo mark but found there was already a mark that would block their trade mark from being successfully registered.

In such situations, it’s possible to enter into a co-existence agreement with the owner of the blocking mark, so each side knows how the other will develop their business and avoid overlapping. However, in this case, the blocking mark was so close to our client’s mark that a co-existence agreement was impossible.

To resolve the issue, our trade mark lawyers searched for similar marks predating the blocking mark. We looked for trade marks similar to our client’s intended mark but owned by an individual or company that may consider selling to our client.

We eventually found a mark fitting the bill and approached the owner. We agreed on a deal suitable to both sides, and the owner even handed over the domain name associated with the mark as an extra.

With a creative, outside-the-box approach to solving the problem, our client secured a trade mark they were happy with.

Meet our specialist trade mark solicitors

Our lovely team are always on hand with expert advice. We’re here to bring creative solutions to the problems you’re facing, big or small. Find the key contacts for this area below, or follow the link to meet the rest of the team.

Ready to talk?

Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch shortly, usually within one working day. We’ll kick things off with a no-obligation chat where we get to know you and understand your current challenges.

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