Trade marks are “badges” that distinguish your products or services from those of your competitors. They can be names, logos, strap lines, jingles or other signs that identify your product range or services.
If sufficiently distinctive, a trade mark can be protected by registration, which gives the right to stop other parties from using your mark or anything confusingly similar. Typically, a trade mark registration lasts for 10 years from its filing date and can be renewed indefinitely for successive 10 year periods.
You will need to tell us the mark you want to protect and the products and services for which it will be used. We will advise on a suitable form of the mark for registration. If the mark is in a particular font, colour or logo style, we will require a copy of it. You should also have some idea about the countries in which you wish to protect your mark: trade marks can generally be registered in any country around the world. Once we have all of this information we consider your business needs from a commercial standpoint and advise you how to proceed in the most cost-effective way.
We will prepare an application for registration: we will devise a sufficiently broad description of the goods and/or services to protect your position against competitors. We will file the application with the relevant Government body and be your agent handling all correspondence on your behalf.
The application will be examined by the Government body to see if it is acceptable for registration. If any objections are raised we will need to overcome these before registration can take place. Other parties may object to registration if they feel that there is a conflict with their existing rights. After any objections are overcome, the mark is registered and the rights provided by the registration are generally backdated to the date of filing.
If you wish, we can conduct pre-filing clearance searches to identify any conflicting trade mark rights that might prevent you using or registering your mark in the UK or abroad.
Timescales and costs
Typically, for the UK, registration of a trade mark takes between three months and one year, with costs for the initial filing starting at around £500 (excl. VAT). Costs and timescales for obtaining registrations abroad vary depending on the country concerned.