You need to be sure that the brand name you are using doesn’t infringe on the rights of others, otherwise you risk investing in marketing and promotion only to find that you cannot own your brand and have to rebrand later on, possibly years after you begin using the name.
Use our online search tool TM Search to check the availability of the name you are using. This is just the most basic first step, so do also buy an evaluation to get a full legal opinion on the name. Otherwise, you risk getting a registration which can be attacked many years later by someone with earlier rights to the name. When we evaluate your name we do a lot more than the TM search.
Name registration, not just as a company or domain name, but also as a trademark, is the way to secure rights and ensure you can own the name. If you need more information get our ebook:
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Benefits of name registration
When you have comprehensively checked for earlier rights, and registered your name as a trademark, you can prevent competitors from using a similar name. This is important for protecting your goodwill in the name. You will also have the necessary rights when it comes to selling the name along with the business should you wish to do so one day.
These are some of the benefits of trademark protection. Before you embark on a name registration project, there are one or two other issues to consider. Firstly, trademarks are territorial, which means that a UK trademark does not protect you in other countries. Therefore, first decide where you would like to register. If your customers are not only in the UK, but might be based elsewhere in Europe, you could instead secure protection in all 28 EU countries by registering your name as an EU trademark (a CTM). While worldwide name registration is not available in a single application, it is possible to later extend your protection internationally, through the Madrid Protocol after you have applied for name registration in the UK or Europe. For countries not party to the Madrid system, such as Hong Kong and Canada, we can file your application through our agents.
Deciding the trademark classes
While you would start by seeking a professional opinion on the name once you have decided where you would like to register, it is necessary initially to also consider the business activities you will be engaging in. Your application for name registration will list the goods and services for which you intend to use the name, so before we register your trademark we ask about your plans so as to determine the different trademark classes in which you ought to register your trademark.
Trademark classes are groups of similar goods and services, for example banking and insurance fall within class 36, while CDs and DVDs are both in class 9. The particular goods and services included in your application form will determine the scope of your name registration, so it is important that your application is prepared carefully. However to get started with our service, there is no need to buy all of the classes you need up front. Just buy one, and later once we let you know which classes are relevant based on the information you provide you can purchase further classes.
Our prices take into account all of the essential work involved in name registration, and there are no hidden charges. Unless a problem arises in the course of the process the price we quote is the price you pay, and if objections are raised, we will keep you informed, and let you know the options available, offering a competitive fixed price to carry out further legal work so that you can decide how to proceed.
What is involved in name registration?
Once you have decided where you would like to trademark your name, and considered how you intend to use it, we carry out a professional search and provide a legal opinion. This includes a legal opinion on whether the name satisfies the criteria for registration as a word mark. For example we will assess whether the name is distinctive enough to enable customers to identify your goods and services, and differentiate them from those of competitors. Buying a search and legal opinion is a sound investment in what will be your most important business asset. Not only will you reduce the risks of a failed application, but you will also avoid registering a trademark which could later be cancelled by a competitor with earlier rights in a similar name.
Our trademark specialists
Assuming the results of our searches are positive, our trademark specialists then proceed to draft your trademark application for your review. Unless you have any comments, if it accurately reflects your plans we file your application with the registry, where it is examined against the criteria for registration, for example to determine whether your name is sufficiently distinctive to function as a trademark. The application is then advertised on a public register for 2-3 months, to allow owners of existing registrations to decide whether they feel it conflicts with their own registrations. The process takes about 5-8 months overall depending upon whether you apply for registration in the UK or EU, and assuming there are no objections, once your registration issues we post your certificate for safekeeping.
To find out more about the way we work read some of the testimonials we receive from satisfied clients: Testimonials. Then, to get started, you can use our trademark costs calculator to assess the price. In the meantime, if you want to know more about why name registration is an important intellectual property right to protect in your business why not download our ebook: