Where shall I register my trade mark?
Once you have developed a stand out mark, your next step is to decide where you should register it. The three types of trade mark that can be obtained is a UK trade mark, a Community trade mark and international trade mark protection.
Firstly, a UK trade mark can be obtained from the UK Intellectual Property Office. Registering a mark with the UK IPO has a fee of £200 for a basic application. The UK trade mark can only be protected from any infringement made within the UK therefore it leaves itself open to interference from other members of the EU. A UK trade mark registration is a cost effective way to protect your business’s brand.
Secondly, you can register your mark with the Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market and gain a Community trade mark. This gives a monopoly over all 28 members of the European Union. A standard application costs €900, which is a step up from the UK application but can aid an expansion of a business and its brand. A disadvantage however is the sheer number of existing marks already registered. It can be difficult to find a sufficiently original mark that would not infringe any existing mark.
Lastly, you can obtain international trade mark protection. Through the Madrid system, your mark will be registered with a number of international organisations including the EU and the African Intellectual Property organisation. The Madrid system, which has developed through the Madrid Protocol and agreement, is a one stop solution to get widespread protection for your mark. However, this wide scale protection comes with a hefty price take so only consider if you have a large budget.
The Trademarkroom can assist you on making the right decision in relation to your trade mark registration, get in touch!
By Ellis Sweetenham