Registering a trademark will allow you to protect logos, words and sounds for your business, providing that they distinguish your business from any others in the market. Having your brand registered as a trademark will help to protect the reputation of your brand and business throughout the UK, EU and even internationally.
Trademark registration is a long and complex process, with many opportunities for setbacks and uncertainty so it is vital to get the help and advice of a knowledgeable intellectual property solicitor from the outset.
What are the benefits of registering a trademark?
The benefits of registering a trademark:
With a registered trademark, your business will be able to take legal action against any individual or company who uses your brand without your permission. This is extended to counterfeiters who copy and distribute your brand. You will also be entitled to place the ® symbol next to your brand to warn against others using it.
Is my trademark eligible to be registered?
Conducting the necessary searches and registering a trademark is a complex task. Your trademark must be unique to your business and can include:
- or a combination of any of the above
What restrictions apply for trademarks?
A trademark cannot:
- Be offensive, contain swear words or pornographic images
- Describe the services or goods eg the word ‘egg’ cannot be a trademark for an egg company
- Be misleading, eg using the word ‘handmade’ for products that are not handmade
- Be a 3-D shape that is associated with the trademark, eg using the shape of an egg for an egg company
- Be a common and vague, or a too simple statement such as ‘we lead the way’
- Look too like any state symbols, e.g. flags or hallmarks. Guidelines for this can be found on World Intellectual Property Organisation guidelines
Checking to see if a trademark is already registered
The trademark database contains all registered trademarks and must be searched before an application is submitted. The database can be found here. The holder of an existing trademark can give permission to register your trademark if it is too similar. The holder must give a letter of consent, which must be submitted with the application.
When should you renew a trademark?
Trademarks must be renewed every 10 years and applications can be submitted six months before and six months after the trademark expires. If a trademark has been expired for longer than six months, you may be able to restore it.
With the right legal and practical support, a business can be sure that their investment in their brand pays off. At JMR Solicitors our aim is to provide you with the best action plan for your business to thrive. Contact JMR Solicitors today for your trademark matters.