To register a trademark the mark must be;
- Distinctive for the goods or services which you are applying to register it for.
- Not deceptive, or contrary to law or morality.
- Not similar or identical to any earlier marks for the same or similar goods or services.
There are 45 trademark classes that cover all goods and services. Class 25, for example, covers clothing, footwear and headgear. If you were to trademark a brand name under class 25 this would prevent any other trader from producing any item of clothing, footwear or headgear that appears in class 25, brandishing your name or logo.
However if another trader decided to deal in class 15 (musical instruments) you would generally find that there would be nothing to stop them trading the instruments under the same name. You can trademark goods or services in as many classes as required so long as there is a genuine usage for registering in that class.
You can view a list of all 45 available classes here.
By trademarking you protect yourself from unauthorized use of your mark. Without a trademark a copycat company could cause loss of business or damage the reputation of your trade. If this was to happen whilst your company is trademarked then legal action can be taken. If your mark is registered you may sue for infringement under trademarks law. For this to succeed you have only to show that someone else has used a mark which is the same as (or similar to) your own registered mark on goods or services which are the same as (or similar to) the goods or services for which your mark is registered.
In certain circumstances the deliberate use of your registered mark on goods/services, by another person and without your knowledge, may be classed as counterfeiting. This is a criminal offence, and criminal proceedings may be initiated under trademarks law by police and Trading Standards Officers.
Without a registered trademark you can still be protected by the law of 'passing off' however this can prove to be a long and costly ordeal.
For UK applications we can carry out a Certificated Patent Search of your intended trademark. The Search will confirm whether or not the identical word or words are already registered.
If the trademark you requested is available then we can proceed in registering your trademark. First of all you will need to decide on how many classes you wish to register the trademark under. Once this is decided we can proceed in registering your goods/services with the Patent office. Once we have processed your application an application without complications will take around 6-9 months before registration is complete. In this time period the Patent office will register the application and following registration your mark will be placed in the Trade Mark Journal.
After a time period of around 15 weeks in the Trade Mark Journal you will receive a letter from us confirming registration. Of course if any problems occur during this period we will let you know and discuss the best way to continue.