Trade marks are important to all businesses for the following reasons: (1) They allow you to stop others from trading on your good name; (2) They help you ascertain whether others have already monopolised your name (to protect against claims in the future); and (3) They are commercial assets of your business, and are one of the first things an investor or purchaser might look for when considering valuation.
What can be registered as a trade mark?
A trade mark must be a unique identifier of your brand, in the vast majority of cases this means that trade marks protect either specific words or logos. However, in certain circumstances, it’s also possible to protect straplines, product shapes, sounds and colours.
What cannot be registered as a trade mark?
- Anything offensive
- Anything purely descriptive of the goods or service it will relate to
- Anything misleading
- A common or non-distinctive phrase
- Anything resembling state symbols like flags or hallmarks
If you’re satisfied that your mark meets the criteria for registration, the next step is for us to check if anything similar is already registered. Once we’re confident that your mark isn’t already taken, we can apply through the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). It is also recommended that you register your trade mark in any country in which you’ll be doing business. This can be done on a per-country basis or through international registries.
To discuss the application process and for guidance on registering your trade mark in the UK or internationally, please get in touch using the form opposite and we will be happy to discuss your requirements during a free consultation