What to include in a successful trade mark
When considering your trade mark and drafting it from scratch, there are a number of elements that are key to succeeding in your registration.
The key to a trade mark and its function for a business it to represent the brand. A brand name, logo or slogan is the first port of call for a customer therefore it needs to be eye catching and distinctive to separate yourself from your competitors.
While there are practical elements you need to ensure are incorporated into your trade mark, there are also some key legal elements that the UK Intellectual Property Office will be looking for. Without these or with an element of generalness, your mark will not be accepted for registration.
Firstly, the mark must be distinctive. The key to a trade mark as stated above is to be a unique indicator of your business. Therefore, the substance of the mark must be generic. This is both generally and in line with the goods or services you are providing. You can not include any words or phrases that are used on a regular basis in your industry. Not only is this going against the distinctive aspect, it would allow you to create a monopoly over a word or phrase that is key to your industry. This is unfair and the UK IPO are very against allowing registration that takes unfair advantage.
You also need to ensure that your mark has not already been registered. If your mark is deemed as being identical or similar in identical or similar goods or services, your mark will not successfully be registered. While the UK IPO will not refuse your mark, during the publication period any party that has the right over a similar or identical mark has the ability to submit an objection against your application. By not taking the best first steps, you may waste time and money. To prevent this, The Trademarkroom can complete a full trade mark search of your mark to ensure there is no identical or similar mark in identical or similar goods or services. This will allow you to identify any potential issues early and solve them before submitting the application.
Lastly, you need to ensure that your mark does not include any offensive words or prohibited signs. While it may seem obvious, it is not always so clear cut as to what is deemed to be offensive and what isn’t. You are always better to be cautious when creating your trade mark to ensure you do not run into any issues. In addition, there are a number of prohibited elements that cannot be included. These include any flag that has been protected, which includes the Union Jack. In addition, you can not include any reference to the Crown or the Royal Family. Any indication of any connection that does not exist is prohibited. Special permission is required to use this, which explains how Royal Mail have been allowed to use that name.
It is important that you take the time from the start to ensure that consider all aspects of your mark are capable of being registered to ensure you will not have any nasty surprises when you submit your application.
For more information, contact The Trademarkroom today.
By Ellis Sweetenham