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.

Our trade mark solicitors 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.

Testimonial

“I approached Briffa for an initial appointment about trademarking the name of my web application business. I met with Anastasia who helped me to understand the process very clearly and comprehensively. We covered a lot of information relevant to the specific name I had chosen as well as the general process of trademarking a name and other things to consider when starting a web application business.

The meeting was extremely helpful and informative, reassuring me about my initial concerns, but at the same time bringing up important areas I had not considered previously. Along with the comprehensive follow-up I received it has set me up very well for the challenges ahead.”

Tim Benger, Trade Mark Services Client

How can we help?

Trade Mark Registration

To successfully register a trade mark, you’ll first need to check that nobody else is already using it for the same or similar goods and services. It’s also essential to avoid registering words that have become common/generic language in your particular industry. Trade mark applications in the UK can take four to six months, while European Union Trade Mark (EUTM) applications, which cover the 27 EU Member States, can take six months.

Our highly skilled trade mark solicitors can undertake searches on your behalf, advise on the best options for protecting your brand, and then support you through the registration process in the UK, EU, USA and elsewhere.

Oppose An Application

Whether you’ve found your application opposed or wish to oppose another party’s registration because it infringes on a registered trade mark you already own, our highly experienced team of trade mark lawyers are on hand to act quickly on your behalf.

With expertise in the UK and international trade mark opposition proceedings, we can take care of the details so you can focus on running your business.

For more information about how we can help with an opposition claim, get in touch.

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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.

This means staying alert and being proactive in enforcing your legal rights, collecting evidence and going down the injunction route if necessary.

Our team has extensive experience and a strong reputation for stopping infringements and resolving disputes in the UK and abroad.

Pursue A Passing Off Claim

Unregistered trade marks 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.

Get 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 Cork, Republic of Ireland, 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 main reasons to register 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 can 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 to register. 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 register a similar brand name 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 a specialist trade mark lawyer. 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 specialist trade mark lawyer can help individuals and businesses protect their valuable intellectual property. As standard, they can help to register a trade mark, submit or resolve 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

Often, it requires some creative thinking for a business to get around a trade mark problem. One of our clients wanted to secure a logo mark but found there was already a mark on the register that would block their trade mark from being successfully registered.

Sometimes, 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 one another. However, in situations like our client’s case, the blocking mark was so close to our client’s mark that a co-existence agreement was impossible.

To resolve the issue, we searched for similar marks predating the blocking trade mark. We were looking for any mark 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.

Book your free consultation now

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