How Do I Apply For a Trademark? :
How Much Does It Cost To Register A Trademark? What Are The Risks Of Not Registering A Trademark?
Registering a trademark gives the owner an exclusive legal right to use that trademark in a specific jurisdiction. The trademark can be used only by the owner, or used by another party in return for payment.
Define Trademark: Copyright v. Trademark v. Patent
A copyright protects an author’s expression of his or her ideas. It is the actual expression that is protected, not the idea itself. Copyrights are typically granted to books, plays, and other types of art. By getting a copyright, you gain the exclusive right to reproduce the work and protect it from others seeking to use it.
A trademark protects a business’s name or logo from being used by competitors. A protected trademark gives you a right to use a ‘mark’ in a specific market. Applying and being granted a trademark prevents competitors from using your logo and utilising your esteem within your marketplace. Trademarks tend to be limited by industry or region. They last for 10 years, but can be renewed after that.
A patent is used to protect an invention. An invention is classed as anything new and usual, or process, or an improvement to an existing product or process. Patent rights are the most powerful rights among Intellectual Property (IP) because they allow an inventor to exclude someone else from using the invention without permission. A patent lasts for 20 years if you pay renewal fees each year following the fourth anniversary of when you filled for it.
What Can Be Trademarked?
Trademarks can take many forms and are becoming an area of vast dispute as the amount of brands, and those wishing to counterfeit them, grows:
- Words (including phonetic variations).
They have to also fulfill several requirements:
- Used in commerce.
- Fees paid as required to keep it in force.
- Not generic, such as noun or verb in common usage.
- Must be identified as a trademark in some countries.
- The class of the mark.
What Should I Do Before I Apply For A Trademark?
- Decide what goods/services you want trademarked.
- Conduct a trademark search.
- If no one is using the mark in the UK, but you find someone using it in another jurisdiction, ask yourself whether you see yourself wanting to expand to that country in the future. Remember trademark rights are territorial!
- If you still want to use the trademark, you have several options. You can ask for a letter of consent to use the trademark in your separate industry, or apply to revoke the marks if they are more than five years old and outside the scope of the original mark.
- Seek professional legal advice before following through with the approaches listed above.
How To Apply For A Trademark?
You can apply for a trademark by filing one online or by post. For a full list of costs of registering a trademark, click here.
Filing a trademark is relatively easy. You need to make sure you get three things perfect:
- The Mark:
Once you’ve filed the application, you can not change it. If the mark is a word or words and you write the mark in capital letters, the mark will be considered to cover any style of writing the word(s).
- The Specification of Goods/ Services:
You can’t broaden the specification of goods/services after filing the application, so make sure you want to put everything in that you want to cover or will want to cover in the next year.
- The Name and Address of The Applicant
Although you can correct this after filing, what’s the point when you can just get it right at the beginning? Are you filing the application in the name of your company or in your name?
The Intellectual Property Office reviews applications to make sure the correct classification and trademarks are sufficiently distinctive from one another. The IPO sends the applicants a report identifying any objections and potential conflicting trade marks and also has to follow its own IPO rules.
What happens to your trademark application then?
When the trademark is accepted, it is published in the Trademarks Journal. Following this two-month period, opposition can be filed, otherwise the trademark is granted.
Trademark infringement describes when someone is using your trademark without your permission. It not only carries serious financial damage, but it can also destroy your and your businesses reputation. You must make sure your trademark does not infringe on someone else’s trademark. If someone is infringing your trademark, wants to create a trademark or buy a trademark, seek advice from one of our Linkilaw lawyers. They will take action to stop an infringement, or could negotiate on your behalf, to create or buy a trademark. For a British trademark, fees are required every decade to keep a trademark in force. It is imperative you gain the best advice, to do so please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.
What are The Risk of Not Registering a Trademark?
There are two main classes of trademark applicant. Those that have started use of their mark and those that have not. In some respects if you haven’t yet started use of your mark you are in a better position than someone who has, as you should be able to more easily change the mark if it turns out that it is not free for use.
If a competitor uses your mark, without your consent, to sell their inferior product it will damage your reputation (or goodwill as it is known legally). Them using your trademark could damage your sales because they are using your ‘good will’ to up their sales.
Trademarks Following Brexit.
Right now, the law that governs UK trademarks is European Law. How will it all change after PM May triggers Article 50?
Although the trademark rules derive themselves from European legislation, Regulations and Directives, those laws have been implemented into UK law by way of the Trademark Act of 1994. At the moment it is possible to apply to get an EU Trademark which is applied for in Spain, and, if granted, affords protection across the whole of the EU. So, at the moment, you don’t have to apply for a UK Trademark to have Trademark protection in the UK. You can apply for an EU Trademark instead. That’s obviously going to change after Brexit.
And as of this moment, nobody is entirely sure what’s going to happen when Article 50 is triggered and how laws generally will be affected, particularly laws that are regulated at the EU level, and where it’s possible to apply for EU Wide Protection.
If you’re unsure about how Brexit will impact your trademark application, or you’re being infringed, or would like your application to be drafted by a legal professional, seek advice from one of our Linkilaw lawyers. They will take action to stop an infringement, negotiate on your behalf, to create or buy a trademark.