“A trade mark is your brand: it differentiates you in the market place – it allows you to stand apart from your competitors and sends a message to your customers – we are in business and we mean business.”
All businesses use a name or a logo or a combination of the two to differentiate themselves from their competitors. A company’s logo is part of its public profile and forms a vital part of a company’s brand.
Trade marking your brand provides a valuable and inexpensive layer of legal protection for your business against unscrupulous competitors who may wish to exploit your brand for their own purposes.
“Once established, a trade mark can add value to your business and can become a valuable asset in its own right. “
Despite the clear advantages of registering a trade mark many SMEs fail to do so, only to see their brand challenged by a hostile competitor at a later date. This often results in costly legal bills defending your brand from an unnecessarily weakened position.
The Advantages of registering your brand
Registering your trade mark gives you the exclusive right to use that mark for the goods or services covered by the trade mark in the United Kingdom.
• A successfully registered mark can use the ® symbol to warn others against using the mark.
• A registered trade mark allows you to take legal action against others for infringement of the trade mark;
• It allows trading standards officers to prosecute counterfeiters who abuse or harm your brand;
• It allows you to establish a potentially valuable asset;
• Registration lasts ten years.
What brands can be protected by a trade mark
A ‘brand’ is a distinguishing mark or combination of words or both which acts as a logo for your business.
Not all brands can be registered. The most common reasons for a brand to be refused a trade mark registration are:-
• The brand is already registered;
• It is not distinctive;
• It is already in customary use;
• The emblem is protected by law (such as Royal crests);
• It is offensive or unlawful;
• It acts to deceive.
The classification of UK Trade Marks
Trade marks are divided into 45 sub-classifications of goods and services. When you register a trade mark you have to indicate which classification your application falls into. If you want to register a trade mark for more than one classification there is an additional fee for each classification.
Protecting Trade marks abroad
There are two systems of registering trade marks in foreign countries which dispenses with the requirement of making individual applications in each country.
European Trade Marks
The European Trade mark office can accept trade mark applications which, if successful, result in a trade mark which is registered in all 27 countries forming the European Union.
International Trade Marks
Currently 85 states have signed the Madrid protocol which establishes a common method which allows a trade mark holder to register a UK trade mark in the countries forming those signatories to that protocol.
In order to protect your company’s logo or brand we offer an all costs inclusive trade mark registration service. For our inclusive fee we will carry out a trade mark review to assess whether the Intellectual Property Office are likely to accept your application; prepare and lodge your application and give you specific advice on your proposed trade mark and any other protection your mark may require including obtaining a European or international trade mark.
Our prices are highly competitive and we would be surprised if any of our competitors can match them.
|Type of Registration||Our Fixed Fee (excluding VAT)||Intellectual Property Office Fee|
|United Kingdom Trade Mark||£300 for a trade mark registration plus one additional class||£170 – £200 plus £50 for each additional class|
|UK Trade Mark Additional Classes||£25 for each additional class||£50 per class|
|European Trade Mark||£550||€900 – €1100 plus £15|
|International Trade Mark||£1350 (includes any translation of the proposed mark into Spanish or French as may be required by the regulations)||The fee varies depending upon how many countries you wish to register the trade mark in. At the top end of the scale the fee for registering a mark in all 85 countries is around CHF17,764 plus £40.|
• Trade Marks
• Competition Act
• Directors’ Duties
• Directors’ Duties – General
• Memorandum & Articles of Association
• Company Voluntary Agreements
• Company Contracts
• Public Limited Companies
• Formation of a Private Company