Frequently Asked Questions
Q WHAT CAN BE A TRADE MARK?
A Trade Mark can consist of words (including personal names), designs, letters, numerals or the shape of goods or their packaging, sounds or smells.
Q ARE ALL TRADE MARKS REGISTERABLE?
No, a trade mark will not be accepted for registration if it is not distinctive. However, please note that a trade mark which is not distinctive may be accepted for registration if it can be shown that the trade mark had acquired a distinctive character because it had been in use for over 5 years.
Q HOW LONG DOES A TRADE MARK REGISTRATION LAST?
A trade mark registration is renewable every 10 years and therefore can last indefinitely as long as the registration is renewed.
Q IS A TRADE MARK REGISTRATION EFFECTIVE WORLDWIDE?
No, a trade mark is only effective in the country where the trade mark is registered e.g.: an application filed at the UK National Trade mark Office is effective only in the United Kingdom. However, there are several International Conventions that exist which assists clients who wish to register a trade mark in more than one country with one single application which are more cost effective than obtaining separate national registrations. Please contact us for further information.
Q HOW IMPORTANT ARE TRADE MARK CLEARANCE SEARCHES?
Trade mark clearance searches are very important as they are the first step to determining whether the trade mark you wish to use and register is available to do so.
We strongly recommend that, to avoid any potential conflict between your proposed trade mark and any existing confusingly similar trade marks, that you instruct us to carry out a comprehensive trade mark search on your behalf.
Q CAN I AMEND MY TRADE MARK OR ADD FURTHER GOODS OR SERVICES TO THE TRADE MARK REGISTRATION?
No, once a trade mark has been accepted for registration it cannot be altered except for the owner's name and address.
Q HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO OBTAIN A TRADE MARK REGISTRATION IN THE UK?
The procedure for obtaining a trade mark registration in the United Kingdom usually takes approximately 6 months. Registration is effective from the date of application.
Q HOW DO I KNOW WHETHER MY PARTICULAR TRADE MARK IS ALREADY IN USE?
Before an application is placed to register your proposed trade mark you must ensure your mark will not conflict with any existing trade mark. Furthermore, you should also ensure that there are no existing common law trade marks, or in other words, unregistered trade marks, limited companies, business names and any reference to your proposed trade mark on the Internet. Therefore, we offer two levels of trade mark searching:
Identical search -This search will act as an indication to whether your proposed trade mark is available or is registered by someone else. The fee is ￡80 + VAT - please complete the Trade Mark Search application form (TM1).
Identical and availability search -This search should be conducted if it is your intention to obtain a trade mark registration. We will give comprehensive advice concerning the results of the searches, and advice if the mark can go forward for registration. The fee is ￡150 + VAT - please complete the Trade Mark Search Availability Report application form (TM2).
Q HOW DO I APPLY?
Go to the apply online section and complete the relevant form and send it to us with your remittance or you can complete them online.