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How Do I Register A Trademark?

Posted 4 months ago

How Do I Register A Trademark?
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You have developed what you believe to be a unique product. But how do you protect it, and more importantly your name and brand? This is where trademarks come in. Intellectual property protection is the best way you can protect your idea from being taken by someone else. 

But how do you register a trademark? These days, registrations are quick and simple, but multi-faceted. In this guide, we take you through the steps required to successfully register a trademark. 

1. Complete a Trademark and Domain Name Search

Before you register a trademark, you will first need to make sure that nobody else has registered one with the same name or branding. Simultaneously, you should also check to see if a domain name is taken using one of the UK domain names search providers, like UKreg.com. If your name is taken, you’re unlikely to be able to use it, and it would be difficult to claim the domain name name after registering the trademark. Therefore, we recommend that you think up more than one business or brand name. It is also advised that you don’t use generic words. Think of something unique, that is less likely to have already been used, like a made-up word. For example, Zoopla, Zopa, Google, etc.

Please bear in mind that it is difficult to register a word that resembles a trade or occupation and even an adjective. For example, when we tried to register the name ‘BusinessAgent’, we were denied on the basis that it was the name of a trade. We were however, allowed to register the logo. 

2. Completing the trademark application

Below is a brief step-by-step guide to completing your trademark application:

  1. Head over to the Government or Intellectual Property Office service to start the application
  2. You then need to select who will be registering. You will be asked if you are registering the trademark on behalf of yourself or a company and if you are authorised to do this. 
  3. Fill in your details. If this is your first time registering, then be sure to use a postal address where they can reach you for when they send trademark certificates. 
  4. Enter the basic trademark format. You will be asked if your trademark has any words, letters or numbers. 
  5. Once you have entered basic information, you will be asked to enter more advanced details. This involves defining the category of your trademark. You will be asked, for example, whether the trademark will include colours, images or letters and numbers in an unusual style, or even sound. You will be asked to upload the logo or graphic if it that you wish to trademark. 
  6. Choose a single or series trademark. In this section, you will be asked if you are registering a single or series trademarks. The first is for a singular design, phrase or word. In this event you are more likely to have better protection should someone try to copy it. With a series trademark, you can protect a range of variations. At a cost of £50 per variation, this is an option for those who want to remain fully and legally protected. 
  7. Select your class and term. Class, as mentioned above, is the industry grouping your mark will come under. To find and select your trademark class/classes you have two options. You can either search using a keyword or select a class and view its terms.
  8. Provide a disclaimer. You will be asked if you want to supply a disclaimer. This is useful in that you can exactly explain the rights you’re claiming in regard to your trademark. If you’re unsure on how to do this, you should contact a lawyer. 
  9. Select the type of trademark. You’ll be asked to select your type of trade mark. A collective mark is specific to trade associations, while a certification mark guarantees goods and services bearing your mark meet a standard of quality. 
  10. Choose a trademark examination type. To finalise your application, you will need to select from two examination types: ‘Standard’ or ‘Right Start’. The standard exam takes around or beyond 20 days with a cost of £170, while the Right Start application takes the same amount of days but costs £200. 

After you apply

The registration of a trademark does not end after your application. Once you’ve applied you will receive feedback within 20 days. Once received, you will have 2 months to resolve any issues with your application. In the event that your application is opposed, you can either:

  • Withdraw your application
  • Talk to the person making the opposition
  • Defend your application

Be aware that you won’t be able to register your trade mark until the matter is settled and you may have to pay legal costs if you want to challenge the opposing party.

Once any objections have been resolved, your trade mark will be published and you’ll receive a certificate confirming this. 

Authors: Oliver Murphy & Sacha Bright

Disclaimer

To the best of our knowledge, the information we have provided is correct at the time of publishing. Sacha Bright is not a solicitor or accountant and we recommend that you seek professional advice on any topic discussed.

Tagged: business entrepreneur sme trademark guide



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