How do I apply for a trade mark?
To succeed in an application to register a trade mark in the UK there are a number of steps that need to be completed.
Your complete point of call for all trade mark information is the UK Intellectual Property Office.
They are the one stop shop for all information and application in relation to all UK IP. They also maintain the register as well as are involved in all disputes.
The first key stage is to ensure your proposed mark is suitable. Not only does it need to satisfy the criteria, it needs to be established that it has not already been registered by another party.
The mark itself can be a word, phrase or logo as well as being a sound or colour. It has to be unique otherwise it will definitely not be registered. Distinctiveness is the key to a successful trade mark. Anything descriptive of the product or industry will not be registered.
The best way to ensure that the mark is free to use is to instruct The Trademarkroom to complete a trade mark search report for you to ensure there will not be any nasty surprises when you submit your application.
Once you have developed a successful mark, you need to submit your application to the UK Intellectual Property Office. This can either be done online or in writing in the post. There is a slightly lower fee for an application submitted online, at a price of £170. To submit an application through the post carries a fee of £200.
There is no time scale difference in relation to the method you submit your application apart from the few days it would take for your postal application to reach the UK IPO.
After your application is submitted, it will be considered by the examiner who will issue an examination report, which will highlight any potential problems within 20 days. You will then be given an additional 2 months to fix any errors.
This will then lead to the publication of your trade mark in the Trade Mark Journal for 2 months to allow anyone to object.
If there are no objections lodged, your mark will be registered and the certificate issued to you. However, if there is an objection you can either withdraw your application, negotiate with the objector or defend your application through the aid of a trade mark specialist. If the objections are not solved, you cannot register your mark.
Following this, you have a successfully registered trade mark, congratulations!
The best way to ensure success is to rely on the expert knowledge and experience of The Trademarkroom. Get in contact with Jane to get the ball rolling.
By Ellis Sweetenham