Registration of a trademark is the best way to claim rights over a name. While you may have incorporated a company, or secured domain names, it is a common misconception that these registrations offer exclusive rights to the name you choose. You will not be secure in your ownership of a name unless your brand undergoes registration of a trademark.
Fixed fee registration of your trademark
We offer a fixed price, easy registration process so you can prevent competitors using a similar mark which could lead to confusion and divert customers away from your business. Our solicitors start by providing a professional search and evaluation after establishing how you intend to use your trademark.
Your business plans determine the goods and services you will supply under your trademark, which in turn determine the scope of the searches and protection you will require. We advise you which classes of goods and services are relevant to your trademark once you are a client. In the meantime, if you need to budget, a rule of thumb is to assume you will need at least 3 classes. Use our calculator to understand how classes and registration are priced, and if you want to buy our bronze service, wait till we’ve helped you assess the classes relevant to your brand before buying additional classes.
Registration of trademarks is territorial, so a UK registration only protects you in the UK. If your customers are all based locally this would be the most suitable registration. However, if you sell products online, and have customers elsewhere in the EU, then an EU trademark (CTM) is advisable as it protects your trademark in all 28 EU countries. You can extend your protection internationally later, using the Madrid Protocol so the first decision is whether to begin in either the UK or EU.
Why it is advisable to buy a search and evaluation
Trademarks give a wide protection to their owners. So, it’s important to understand whether there are any similar registered trademarks in the territories in which you will sell your products and services. After evaluating the mark in the UK and on the CTM registers we suggest further research and searches you may want carried out before you proceed with registration of your trademark. The benefit is that you can avoid having to use different brands in different countries, and generally reduce the risks of a failed application.
Also, as part of our evaluation, we consider whether your trademark meets the requirements for registration. For a word or logo to function as a trademark it must differentiate your products and services from those of competitors. (So using descriptive words such as CLOTHES RETAILER for a clothes retailing business would not be an effective trademark name. Descriptive words could be used as part of your tagline rather than as your name). This is one of the first checks carried out by the registry during their examination of your application.
What happens once the trademark has been searched and evaluated?
After the search we draft your application, and once you’ve reviewed and approved it, we file it. It is then examined by the registry, and if the registry does not raise any objections the application is published in the trademark journal for “opposition purposes”. That means it is advertised so other trademark owners can consider whether an application conflicts with their rights. If anyone does object, then your application could be opposed. If that were to happen we would explain your options, so you can decide how to proceed. It is possible to drop an application at any time.
The majority of applications tend to go through this advertisement stage without incident (particularly where they have had the benefit of professional advice). Then the trademark is entered into a queue for registration. The registration process can take 5-8 months or longer from the date on which your application is filed. Following registration, your trademark certificate is issued and we post it to you along with information about how to manage and protect your brand.
Benefits of registration
Once registered, your rights are listed on the public trademark registers which others are presumed to be aware of before they choose names or logos for their business. Therefore, It acts as a deterrent to those who might otherwise use similar names, or logos, and strengthens your rights if anyone does infringe on them. You have a right to ask them to change their branding if they begin using a similar name or brand symbol to yours. Therefore, a registration makes it less likely that you will have to engage in lengthy passing off disputes.
Registration of a trademark also helps you to avoid infringing on the rights of others who may have earlier rights in a name, if you have a professional search and evaluation. The process helps you discover whether anyone else has registered rights over a name (we can also advise you how to find out whether anyone has unregistered rights too), and reduces the risks of discovering that someone else has better rights over a name. This means you can truly own the rights in your name, and build up your goodwill in a name you will not risk having to change many years down the line once you’ve already established your business reputation.
As qualified solicitors with years of experience registering trademarks, we have a number of Testimonials.
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