To protect your business name, product name, logos or other brand elements in the UK you will need to register a UK trademark. This is the way to own rights in your brand, and to avoid infringing on the rights of others.
If you will use your trademark in European countries other than the UK, for example because your business is online or otherwise international, then an EU trademark may be a more cost effective approach to protect your brand in the countries where you operate. This is because trademarks are territorial, and a UK trademark only protects you in the UK.
Before registering your UK trademark you will want to make sure that your name or logo is legally available, by commissioning a professional trademark search and evaluation. Otherwise you risk filing an application which is opposed by the owners of earlier rights. The first step is to consider the business activities for which you will be using the brand, and which trademark classes you will need to cover. The same trademark can be owned by different businesses provided that they are not competitors, and so before carrying out an evaluation we will find out more about your plans for the brand so we can advise you of the relevant classes. You will also need to be sure that the trademark is sufficiently distinctive to enable customers to tell your goods and services apart from those of your competitors, otherwise it may face an objection from the UK trademark registry. Our evaluation includes a legal opinion on the registrability of a name, which will help you to manage the risk of an objection.
It is not mandatory to carry out a UK trademark search and evaluation, and you may decide to bear the risks, though we advise against doing so. Once we have agreed the classes in which to register your UK trademark, the next step is for us to draft your trademark application. We will send it to you for review when it is ready, so you can check that it reflects your plans for the trademark, and if it transpires that you need to buy additional classes we will let you know before we file your application.
You will want to be clear about the way you intend to use your UK trademark over the next 5 years, and when reviewing the draft application form you will be able to make comments in case there are additional goods and services which ought to be included. This will determine the scope of protection you receive. You should also be clear on who is to own your registration, for example if you operate through a limited company then the company will typically be the owner. Once you have approved the form we will then file it with the UK trademark registry and oversee it throughout the process.
What does the UK trademark registration process involve?
The UK Intellectual Property Office will assign an examiner to your application, who will assess it to determine whether it fulfills the requirements for registration, by checking, for example, whether it is sufficiently distinctive. Then your trademark will be published for 2 months so that the owners of other trademarks on the registers can consider whether your application conflicts with their rights. Although the behavior of trademark owners is unpredictable, we recommend that you reduce the risk of an opposition with a trademark search before we file your application.
If no one opposes your application, it is then placed in a waiting list, and ultimately registered. We then acquire and post you your UK trademark certificate and offer advice about how to manage your registration, which should be renewed every 10 years while it is in use, and can be renewed indefinitely. If you begin using your trademark for additional goods and services which were not covered by your initial application, it is important to appreciate that you will need to file a fresh application to cover those new activities, so you will need to bear this in mind as your business grows.
Read some testimonials to hear what our satisfied clients have to say about the way we work: Testimonials. Then, when you are ready to get started, use our trademark costs calculator to find out the price of registering your trademark: