When it comes to registering a new business or product, we would highly recommend registering it as a trade mark to avoid any complication in the future. However, as it often is with new businesses and products, the budget is sometimes limited and you may be looking at other, more cost effective, options. Traditionally considered as the domain of Trade Mark Attorneys the registration of a Trade Mark can be a straight forward and cost effective affair. Here is what you need to know:
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official government body responsible for intellectual property rights in the United Kingdom. The IPO will receive and process trade mark applications and where an application is successful, will register the trade mark.
In addition, a trade mark application may be unsuccessful because there is an identical or similar trade mark already on the register, which conflicts with the mark being applied for.
A search of the UK trade mark register should be carried out before submitting a UK application to check whether any conflicting marks are already on the register. A search can be carried out at the Intellectual Property Office in Newport or at the British Library’s Business and Intellectual Property Centre in London. However, in most instances, it will be more convenient to search using the IPO’s website.
It may be possible to apply to register a trade mark which conflicts with an earlier mark, although the owner of the existing trade mark may be notified and may decide to oppose the application. In addition to checking for registered trademarks, an applicant should consider whether a conflicting unregistered mark is in use. An unregistered mark can prevent the registration of a conflicting mark. It is, unfortunately, impossible to obtain comprehensive information on unregistered trade mark rights; in-depth knowledge of the relevant industry, trade directory searches and internet searches may serve as good starting points, but they are by no means conclusive.
How can we help
As you can see searching for trademarks can be time consuming and difficult to cover. There are two initial areas to settle; the search of the proposed mark and the classification that mark will registered in. First Corporate have been registering marks for over 20 years and as such have built up considerable expertise in this sometimes confusing area of Intellectual Property.
Our search will identify if there is a problem with other registered marks and advise on the suitability and acceptability of the proposed mark to comply with the Trade Mark Act. The search also settles the correct classification/s of the mark. In addition most marks are accompanied by a logo (or device in Trade Mark terms) and we settle that aspect as part of the search. The search is free of charge we only charge a fee for the application.
This post was written by Adrian Smart