A trade mark is a sign used by an individual, business organisation or other legal entity, to distinguish its goods and services from those of competitors. It can be for example words, logos, design, image, phrase or a combination of these elements.
It is also important to realise that some trademarks are not registrable if they are entirely descriptive of goods or services.
You can only properly protect your business name if you register it as a trademark, simply forming a new company will not be enough.
Trade mark registration allows you to put the ® symbol for the goods or services that it covers and stops others from using it. It gives you the automatic right to take legal action against anyone who uses your trade mark without your permission. Some trademarks go on to be worth millions so you can sell it or franchise it as it is your property.
Leaving your trade mark unregistered can mean that another business may register your company name as a trade mark and therefore have more rights to use your business name than you do.
The only way to register your trade mark is to apply to The Intellectual Property Office.
When applying, it is important that you conduct a search to check no one else has registered for the same or a similar trade mark for the goods or services. Get your trade mark right and list all the goods and services as you can't amend after your application has been submitted.
A trademark is registered for ten years, after which it will need to be renewed every 10 years in order to maintain the owner rights over it.
Registration usually takes round 4-6 months if the examiner doesn't raise objections and it isn't opposed. However, it can take longer if any objections are raised by owners of similar registered trademarks or by The Intellectual Property Office.
Trademarks are registered in one or more of 45 classes, with goods in Classes 1 to 34 and services in Classes 35 to 45.
Trademark Registration can be a complicated process and mistakes can be expensive and time-consuming. CG Incorporations can provide you with all help you need to register your trademark. Our fee for the registration is £500 plus vat, and £100 for each additional classes.