Trade marks

Frequently asked questions​​​

 

 

Is there any free advice available?Is there any free advice available?<div class="ExternalClassE966DE05DC7B410680B7D79DD9E16BD7">Business & IP Centre staff will be happy to answer any queries you may have. We also run regular free clinics in conjunction with CIPA (The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys) where you can discuss your ideas in confidence with an attorney. Most patent attorneys are also Registered Trade Mark Attorneys.</div>
I’ve registered my company at Companies House. Do I still need to search trade marks?I’ve registered my company at Companies House. Do I still need to search trade marks?<div class="ExternalClass1E41FE95C6A84B32A5C2CB19FBFF4F45">Companies House registrations do not give you an automatic right to use that particular company name. If someone else has already registered the name as a trade mark in the same market as your business is operating they could stop you from using it. Similarly if you register an internet domain name it is advisable to make sure nobody else is using a similar name as a trade mark.</div>
How do I know if my trade mark is new?How do I know if my trade mark is new?<div class="ExternalClassB6F7E38A708F4C5DB77F8EA75423576A">During the application process examiners at the UK Intellectual Property Office will search the Register to determine whether anything similar has already been registered. You can also carry out some initial searching yourself to find out at an early stage what has been done before. Business & IP Centre staff can help you to get the best out of the available databases in order to do this.</div>
How long does a trade mark last?How long does a trade mark last?<div class="ExternalClassC127EB44BEB24A46A24F7A64CFF14991">Initially a trade mark will last for 10 years but it can be renewed indefinitely.</div>
What criteria must a trade mark fulfil in order to be registered?What criteria must a trade mark fulfil in order to be registered?<div class="ExternalClass7B0A6223507A40368353148F1BB3ACC5">​​A trade mark must be distinctive in the market(s) in which it is used – so it can’t be a word(s) phrase or symbol commonly used in that market. It must not look or sound similar to anything which is being used or has been registered. The mark must not be offensive or deceptive.</div>
What does a trade mark application involve?What does a trade mark application involve?<div class="ExternalClassA53EA46DD2F2404B837163B5875EFDF7">A trade mark application involves filling in an application in which you give a representation of your proposed trade mark and a list of all the good or services (ie the areas of the market) in which you intend to use it.</div>
What is a brand?What is a brand?<div class="ExternalClassFF6B4A518105428D80C9DF5D08BE8691">Trade marks are a very important part of your brand but your brand can be more than this. It can include the values and standards you convey to your customers in order to gain their loyalty. It’s an indication of what they can expect from your business.</div>
What is a trade mark?What is a trade mark?<div class="ExternalClass2D821C491179481AB699CA1AFB0C9AB2">A trade mark is a sign which is used to distinguish one product or service from another. This sign may be words (often a business name or slogan), a logo, a picture or a combination of some or all of these. It is normally the means by which customers identify a product or service – for example Coca-Cola® and Weetabix® are two well-known trade marks.</div>
Why is a trade mark valuable?Why is a trade mark valuable?<div class="ExternalClass78ED0041C6C6495CAE2CC3716796FD29">If customers like your products or services and identify those products or services with your trade mark then the trade mark becomes a very significant part of your image and reputation. If they feel that it is an indication of a good quality product or service the mark becomes very valuable. It can become the biggest asset your business has.</div>