Trademark Protection

Trademark protection helps you prevent competitors using a similar brand, and the process reduces the risk of using a name that is already owned by someone else. 

Otherwise you risk having to rebrand once your business is successful. Rebranding is inevitably an expensive process in itself, even without the additional burden of the legal fees you could face if you infringe on another brand owner’s rights.

Your Brand signs

As an entrepreneur or business owner, you will be interested in trademark protection because the brand signs you use are the way customers identify you. In addition to helping consumers find your goods and services amongst those of your competitors, a good trademark can also influence buying habits and actively attract customers.

Trademark protection is the way to own elements of your brand such as your business or product names, and logos. Unfortunately it is a common misunderstanding that company or domain registration gives you exclusive rights to a name. That is not the case.

Complete the form in the sidebar to get started with a free trademark search.

What to bear in mind before you register a trademark

Trademark protection is achieved through trademark registration. One of the first questions to ask, is where should you register?

  • Trademark registration is territorial, which means you are protected only in the countries where you register. So, you should register in the countries that will be important to your brand.
  • If your customers are based in the UK, registering your trademark in the UK is the first step. It is an inexpensive way to secure protection.
  • On the other hand, if your business has a web presence so you sell throughout the EU, and further afield, an EU trademark may be a better option. You are then protected in all the European Member States.

Trademark applications can face problems along the way, and your registration may be cancelled even after registration. For example someone else may have better rights to the trademark, or it could become vulnerable because you have stopped using it, or changed the way you use it, so:

  • It is important to get help from a trademark lawyer, with the experience and expertise to register a trademark which adequately protects your business.
  • You should also have a trademark search carried out by a professional, who can correctly interpret the results. All of our trademark registration services include a basic search.
  • If you use trademark solicitors like us, we will keep you informed of deadlines for renewal, or international registration, and provide information about how to protect your brand.

Before applying for registration, you also need to consider your business plans for the brand. This is because trademark protection is limited to specific goods and services which are described in your trademark application.

These are grouped together into categories (or “classes”), and businesses with the same trademark can co-exist if they don’t overlap. For example, POLO is registered by three different owners for clothes, vehicles and confectionery.

If we are registering your mark, we’ll find out more about your business, and let you know which trademark classes are relevant. Businesses typically need to cover at least 3, but there is no need to make this decision yet, as you can buy additional classes later up until the day we file your application.

Filing your trademark application 

Once you have approved your application form, we will lodge it with the Registry. The registry will then:

  • carry out their examination to check that your trademark meets the requirements for registration;
  • advertise it on a public register, so the owners of existing trademarks are able to object if they feel that your application conflicts with their rights;
  • after 2-3 months, if there are no objections, your trademark will be registered;
  • we receive your certificate and post it to you, along with information about brand protection

Trademark protection can last indefinitely as long as you renew your registration every 10 years. Keep your registrations under review to make sure they are renewed.

For clients who register their trademarks with us, we will send information about how to manage and protect your trademark once it is registered, also keeping you informed of important deadlines.

What Next?

Complete the form in the sidebar to get started with a free trademark search.