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Trademark

What is a Trademark?
A trademark is simply anything that is unique to your business such as a word, combination of words, logo, colour, packaging or a personal name.
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UK Trade Mark Registrations

 It can cover a trade or a service and must be capable of distinguishing one companies goods and services from those of another. 

The trade mark must not conflict with one already registered by someone else.Each trade mark application must specify the class of goods or services for which the registration is required. There are 34 classes of good and 8 classes of services. We can advise on the classes appropriate for your business.Why not contact us for more details.

Why register a trademark?

  • To claim it as yours
  • Helps raise brand awareness
  • Enables brand extension into other products or markets
  • Symbolise your quality
  • To distinguish your business from competitors
  • Prevent other businesses from copying your branding
  • Becomes a valuable asset, sometimes priceless e.g. Virgin, Macdonalds. 

The Intellectual Property Rights of a business, in the form of its brand names, can be as valuable and important an asset of the business as its bricks and mortar. Indeed in many cases it can be more valuable and critical to the survival of the business.

Our fees for registration of a UK trademark inclusive of vat and trademark office fees are £560.00.Why not contact us for more details. It is not compulsory to register a UK trademark but there are advantages in doing so - see 1-3 below.

  1. Trademark registration is prima facie proof of the plaintiff's entitlement to use the mark. in the case of an unregistered mark the plaintiff has to prove entitlement to the mark and that the mark carries a reputation and goodwill
  2. Trademark registration can be obtained before the mark is used provided there is a bona fide intention to do so. In the case of unused unregistered marks you cannot claim passing off.
  3. Trademark registration enables an action for infringement to be brought without proof of actual damage. In the case of an unregistered mark the plaintiff has to prove actual or likely damage to the goodwill of the business.

Community Trade Marks (CTM)

Since April 1996, there has been a European Community trade mark, issued through O.H.I.M - the Office for the Harmonisation in the Internal Market, based in Alicante, Spain. One registration gives trade mark protection in all 15 member states of the European Union. The advantage of this system means:

  • less to pay - one registration and one application for renewal
  • no need for muliple applications - simultaneous trade mark registration throughout the EU
  • faster results - a single application can save time over multiple applications
  • one direct application to OHIM

The registration gives trade mark rights throughout the EU so that if it is acceptable to OHIM then the trademark is protected in all EU countries. The one major disadvantage is that if the mark is unacceptable in one country it will be refused throughout the EU.

Also known as an International Trademark - Since April 1996 companies in the UK have been able to register their trade marks on an international scale through the Madrid Protocol. Under the Protocol, when an applicant has registered (or filed an application to register) a mark in their own country, they can apply for an International Trade Mark to be registered with WIPO - the World International Property Organisation in Geneva - for all or some of the countries who have signed up to the Protocol.Currently there are 63 signatories to the Protocol.

Madrid Protocol

Once WIPO is satisfied with the application, it will enter the mark on the International Register and notify the countries specified in the application. WIPO will also advertise the mark in the International Gazette. Each country then has up to 18 months to object. If one or more countries object and you either do not argue your case or you lose the argument, your mark will not be accepted in those countries. However, it may be acceptable in other countries and will be recorded accordingly on the International Register (unlike for the Community Mark which would fail if one country objects.

The advantages of registering through the Protocol are:

  • Ease of administration - there is no need to work through trade mark agents in every Protocol country unless you face oppositions or objections to the application in that country
  • Cost savings - through keeping fees to a minimum
  • Flexibility - in that you can register in one or more Protocol countries

If you are looking for an International Trademark pursuant to the Madrid Protocol then fees for the basic application are £1250 (inclusive of the application fees and vat) and then additional fees are payable as you add different countries to the protection given by the trademark. Why not contact us for more details.

If you require a US trademark we can assist as well - please contact us for more details.

With telecommunications nowadays distance is no problem, we act for clients all over the world. Why not contact us for more details.

 

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