Trademarks and Patent Registration
What is a trademark?
A trademark registration is a sign and is used to distinguish goods and services. Other companies cannot use these. Trademark will usually include a word, symbol or logo that differentiates the company. It is essential to understand that the trademark will protect only goods and services of a certain type in your class that you choose.
The Trade Mark Registry breaks down all goods and services into 45 categories.
Why register a trademark?
It is a protection for your brand from others who want to profit from the brand name or reputation. It also differentiates you from the competition and enables the customers to differentiate your brand from others.
- Not all applications will be accepted
- To be considered the trademark must be distinct
- If the mark is very similar to the one that already exists it will not be accepted
- It is advisable to search for similar marks in the Patent Office advisory service prior to application
- The trademark cannot be altered or added on to once the application is sent
- The fees are non-refundable
An examiner will check the application and send a report notifying whether the mark is acceptable or not. The process takes about two months. If the mark is acceptable at this stage it will be advertisable in the weekly Trade Marks Journal following which the general public has 3 months to object to the application.
Usually the process will take around 6 months, supposing that nobody objects or opposes your trademark. However, if there are some objections along the way that you can challenge the process may take longer.
The official fee of £200 will be taken per application in one category with extra £50 for each extra class.
Trademark Renewal or Cancellation
Once the registration is received the trademark is protected for 10 years from the date of filing. The trademark can be renewed as many times as you wish. The cost of renewals are the same as the registration fee.
In case of the trademark is not used within 5 years after the registration or it is not used for five years the general public may ask for the trademark to be removed from the register.
Furthermore, the trademark registration may be cancelled at any time.
International Trademark Registration
When registering with the UK Patent Office the trademark is assuring only within UK. However, there are different ways to protect your trademark internationally, one of the most common ones for Europe is The Community Trade Mark System. It is applicable for goods and services throughout the European Union and allows to protect a trademark with one single registration in 27 countries. Typically, if no objections or oppositions are made during the application process the registration will take around 12 months. To register trademarks internationally, you can use The Madrid Protocol. Visit the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) website to find out more about the application process.