How to register a Trade Mark
30 March 2014 by Michael Downing
What is a Trade Mark?
There is no legal requirement to register a Trade Mark but if you want to protect your brand we strongly recommend you Trade Mark your logo, symbol, design or words. By protecting your brand you are also protecting your identity and therefore differentiate from your competitors ensuring you stand out from the crowd. Trade Marks are important assets to your business and by protecting your identity within your territory you prevent your competitors from damaging your business by using a similar mark.
Choosing the right Trade Mark
When choosing a Trade Mark it is important to remember that it must not directly describe your product or service but must have relevance to the nature of your goods and/or services. The more distinctive your trademark the more likely it will be accepted.
What is the first step to registering a Trade Mark?
The first step when applying for a Trade Mark is to check that it is not already registered or that there is not anything registered that looks the same. If there is already someone with rights to the same mark for the same goods or services, you cannot register your Trade Mark – or use it. You can conduct your own search of the UK Register at the Trade Mark Office, however searching is a skilled task . The best way around this is to work with a "Trade Mark specialist":http://www.downing-ip.com/trade_marks.php who can organise searches for you and should be able to tell you whether your trade mark is unique. h2. How do I file my Trade Mark application? Your or your Trade Mark specialist can file your application at the UK or Community Trade Mark Registry. The UK or CTM Registrar will review your application and determine whether it is an acceptable trade mark.
How long does the process take?
The length of the process depends on whether there are any objections to the registration of your Trade Mark. In the UK a straightforward application can take between 6-9 months to process. However there is also the option to fast-track your application which means the process can take around 4 months to complete.
What if I want to protect my Trade Mark outside the UK?
If you want to protect your trademark in other countries you will need to apply to each country individually as trademark laws vary. Trademark specialists will have familiarity with international laws and have a network of associates around the world that will make this process easier for you. Companies like Downing IP can take care of the application process for you and ensure you have a strong case. They can search marks to clear them for use, help you in choosing which mark or marks to register and for which goods and/or services and deal with any complications that might occur. Registering a Trade Mark can be a complicated and stressful process but with the help of an Intellectual Property company they will support and advise you along the way. For a free, confidential initial consultation please contact a member of the Downing IP team on 01494 422626 or fill in our online contact form.