A trademark is a creative which can be a design, word, slogan, symbol or combination of any of those features that acts as an identifier of your product or service from your competitors. Read on for full legal guidance on trademarks for businesses.
You’ll find that a trademark plays a key role in building brand loyalty and a strong customer base. Therefore, arranging trademark protection is just as important for the solo entrepreneur as it is for the larger corporation.
JMR Solicitors Trademark Solicitors in Manchester
Our dedicated trademark solicitors can advise and act for businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to multinationals, as well as guiding foreign associates on brand protection and trademarks in the UK.
Choose a reputable trademark solicitor: Our specialist trademark team will work closely with you throughout the creation of your brand name/logo to ensure you can register and protect it.
Clearance of trademark: Prior to registering your brand name and slogan as a trademark, your solicitor will help you with a suitable clearance plan to ascertain if any third-party rights that could potentially limit the use of your preferred trademark now or in the future.
Protection of trademark: We can help find agents to protect your trademark and devise a protection strategy to make sure you can secure your chosen trademark.
Enforcement: We can assist you with implementing your trademark rights around the world, including by checking any new trademark applications for similar marks, checking competitor’s trademarks or counterfeiters impacting on your brand, and enforce the brand through Registry proceedings and where necessary the courts.
How to register your trademark
To register a trademark, you apply to the IPO, supplying details of your proposed mark.
You need to declare the goods or services for which the mark is to be registered and used for. The registration applies only to the classes you request within your registration. The IPO uses the NICE Classification system, which separates goods into 34 categories and provides 11 classes of services to choose from.
Once an application has been sent, the IPO will check to see if all requirements for registration are met and compare other marks within your industry. You could receive a report from the IPO after 20 days of your application which will include any issues.
However, if the examiner passes your trademark application as it is, or requests aments, then your application will be sent to the Trade Marks Journal so it is under the public eye for a further two months.
If no one opposes to the trademark in that time, then then the trademark is registered and you get a registration certificate. The process of registering can take a few months to complete in its entirety.
Opposing a published trademark
Opposition is the legal procedure that will help you attempt to stop the publication of a mark from being officially registered. You can try to oppose part of the application or the entire application.
The Gov.uk website states that the most common reasons to oppose a mark includes:
- the trade mark is descriptive of the goods and/or services
- that it is generic for those goods/services
- it’s non-distinctive and should be free for everyone in that line of trade to use
Benefits of Registering Your Trademark
Registration of a trade mark gives the owner the sole right to use the mark for the goods or services for which it is has been registered in that country.
Registration of a trade mark is the influential solutions against unauthorised use. A trade mark registration allows the owner to sue for infringement and to acquire very commanding results such as interdict, delivery up infringing articles and damages.
What is passage of rights under common law rights?
In the United Kingdom, traders can obtain ‘common law rights’ in a trade mark by using that trade mark in the development of trade for a number of years or, to a meaningful degree such that the trade mark relishes a reputation with the relevant public.
In legal speak, the trader is said to enjoy goodwill in the unregistered trade mark. UK law would allow this trader to prevent use by another new trader of a similar name where use of that alike name was probable to cause a misrepresentation to the public causing damage to the original trader. These are referred to as passing off rights, so the new trader pursues to pass off his stock as that of the original trader.
Whilst passing off rights can be an applicable means of enforcing unregistered trade mark rights in the United Kingdom, the initial challenge in being able to enforce such rights is to provide evidence that they actually exist. Thorough documentary evidence will be mandatory in proving the kind of the use, the duration of use and the identification of the name or logo and slogan by the public in order to establish appropriate rights. Clearly documenting such rights in this way, to the satisfaction of the Court, is an extensive process; while registered trademark enjoys the simplicity of evidence through a registration certificate’s which proves that the right exists.
How long does a registered trademark last?
A registered trade mark lasts for 10 years. However, you can renew them indefinitely to ensure that they exist permanently.
Bearing in mind the monopoly nature of the protection they provide to the owner, trademarks are an exceptionally valuable asset for your business or brand.
Contact JMR Solicitors for guidance of trademarks
If you are looking to register a trademark, oppose a trademark or simply need to discuss enforcement of a trademark, you can contact JMR Solicitors on 0161 491 3933 or email email@example.com