Do you want to create a Trademark? Are you worried about your Trademark being used without your permission? Do you want to know how your Trademark can be protected? In this article we will cover these concerns by answering the following questions:
What is a Trademark?
How can you protect your Trademark?
Why should you protect your Trademark?
1. What is a Trademark?
A Trademark can be a name, shape, symbol, letter(s), word(s) created for the purpose of distinguishing a trader’s product from another trader’s product. Examples of a Trademark would be the Mc Donalds golden “M”, the Nike sign on the NIKE clothing brand and the image of Tony the Tiger on the Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal.
2. How can you protect your Trademark?
In order for a Trademark to be protected in the United Kingdom residents of the United Kingdom are required to apply to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) ttps://www.ipo.gov.uk/t-tmj.htm.
Does your intended trademark qualify for registration?
Before applying individuals must first ascertain if their intended Trademark qualifies for registration. Therefore, if your design contains offensive imagery such as nudity or offensive words such as swearing, your application will be unsuccessful.
Furthermore, the Trademark cannot mislead any potential buyers. This means if your Trademark contains words such as silk” or “real wood” this is incorrect and your application for the Trademark will be unsuccessful.
Individuals must also be aware that their Trademark cannot be a general product such as the image of a cup if the product being sold is a cup. Lastly your choice of wording must be such that it is not indistinctive for example “I love food” is not distinctive therefore the application will be unsuccessful. Once your trademark has avoided these concerns the next step is to begin the Trademark application process apply.
Trademark application process
When applying for a Trademark application process, individuals must first state what they want to register by identifying if the Trademark is a slogan, word or image.
The fee for a standard application at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is £170. This allows individuals to register in one class. There are 45 Trademark classes 11 of which are for services and the remaining 34 classes are for goods. Individuals can register their Trademark in additional classes at the cost of £50 for each class.
If an individual is concerned about their intended Trademark’s suitability they can apply via the “right start application” at a fee of £200 for their application’s suitability to be assessed by a Trademarks Examiner. This will allow your Trademark to be accessed in order to establish if it is ready move to the application stage.
Once you have applied you cannot subsequently change the symbol/letter or image. Applicants will receive an examination report within 60 working days in which they will have a chance to respond to any objections raised.
If the Trademark examiner accepts the application, it will be published in the Trademark Journal.
Once any objections regarding your Trademark have been resolved and your Trademark is registered you will have a (R) next to your design. This will inform, others that your mark is legally protected.
It must be noted that individuals who wish to register their Trademark internationally must apply for an “international Trademark” under the Madrid System. The Madrid System is the main intellectual property system for registering Trademark internationally.
International applications must be of the same mark registered in the U.K. The Madrid Protocol is overseen and controlled by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) . The WIPO website provides a list of member countries (108 members covering 124 countries).
3. Why should you Protect your Trademark?
Once your Trademark is registered you are legally protected from it being used by others. This means the Trademark can only be used by you unless you grant permission (a licence) to others to use your trademark.
How can Pure Business Law help?
We are specialist Intellectual property law solicitors based in Bedford and London and operating nationally. As intellectual property specialists we will protect your intellectual property rights and resolve any disputes which may arise regarding intellectual property ownership.
If you would like to discuss how to legally protect your intellectual property or discuss any issues, disputes concerning your intellectual property, or anything raised in this article please contact us and speak with one of our solicitors. Pure Business Law is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and is a licensed member of the Law Society of England & Wales.