How can you register your trade mark in the United Kingdom?

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United Kingdom
United Kingdom

If you want to register your trade mark in the United Kingdom you can do it as a natural person or as a company. Even if you are not a British citizen, but have a British address for service, you can register your trademark.

The Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom is responsible for registering trademarks in the country and protects your brand in the UK only.

You have the right to file an application to The Intellectual Property Office and participate in the registration process on your own or with the help of a trademark attorney, or you may do it via Patent Bureau. In this case, the experts of the Patent Bureau will do all registration procedures in the right way.

What type of trademark can you register in the UK?

If your trademark is unique and consists of words, logos, colors, 3D shape or sounds, or their combination, you can register it.

Some legal entities can register collective and certification trademarks. These are specific types of trademarks. They are usually registered in the name of trade associations, government departments, technical institutes, or similar bodies.

What type of trademark you cannot register in the UK?

You can`t register your trademark if it’s offensive or describes the goods or services it relates to. You can`t register your trademark if it’s misleading, non-distinctive, or too common, or if it looks too similar to symbols or names of the state or international organizations.

What goods or services will your trademark cover?

You have to use the Nice classification system to specify the goods and/or services you`re going to use it on. Intellectual Property Offices worldwide use this system that consists of 45 different classes. First 34 classes group goods and the other 10 classes (35 to 45) group services. All classes have a heading, which explains what is covered in that particular class. It`s just a general indication, it does not include all the goods or services in that class.

You have to choose the correct class, as your trademark will only be protected for it. You cannot add other goods or services after you have filed your application.

How can you check if your trademark is unique?

If you want to be sure that your trademark is unique, you should search for identical or similar trademarks in the database before you file your application. You cannot change your trademark after application, and you`ll have no chance to get the fees back.

How long for trademark registration in the UK? 

The registration process can take about 4 months if no one objects.

What should you point out in your application?

Filing your application to The UK Intellectual Property Office you have to point out the following:

  • your trademark details, e.g., a word, an illustration, a slogan, etc.;
  • the classes you want to register your trademark in.
  • your name, address, and other data;
  • some other papers, the IPO can require.

Maybe, you have similar versions of your trademark, then you can file a series application (up to six marks). All these versions should look almost the same.

You want to check if your application meets all the rules for registration?

You can do it, using the ‘Right Start’ service. In that case, you`ll have to pay £100 initially, plus £50 for each additional class. The IPO will send a report confirming that your application meets the rules. Within 14 days after getting this report, you must pay the full fee to continue the registration procedure.

What will happen after you apply?

The UK Intellectual Property Office will check your trademark application if it meets all the requirements. After the period of up to 12 weeks, you’ll get their feedback on your application (an “examination report”). If the IPO experts have no objections, your application will be published in the trademarks journal. Within 2 months anyone can oppose your application.

What should you do if your application is opposed?

The UK Intellectual Property Office will inform you if someone opposes your trademark application. In this case, you can withdraw your application (if you agree with the opposition), you can talk to the author of the opposition, trying to resolve the problem through negotiations. Otherwise, you have to defend your trademark.

You cannot register your trademark until the problem is resolved. After that, your trademark will be registered and you will get a certificate.

What`s the term of your trademark protection in the United Kingdom?

Your trademark protection is valid for 10 years. After that, you can renew it for the next 10 years.

What should you do after your trademark is registered?

You have to report to the UK Intellectual Property Office about any changes concerning your name or address (including email address or a phone number). You must use your trademark, otherwise, your registered trademark can be revoked if it’s not used for five years.

What can you do with your trademark?

You can take legal action against any person or company who uses your trademark without your permission, including counterfeiters. You can sell or license your brand.

What fees should you pay for trademark registration in the UK?

For a single online trademark application covering one class, you have to pay £170. Extra classes will cost you an additional £50 per class.