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Brand names indicate the origin, investment in and the quality of particular goods and services and therefore have considerable commercial value. As these names can be extremely valuable assets, they need to be properly protected.
Famous brands, such as Coca-Cola, Microsoft and McDonalds are protected as trade marks. A registered trade mark gives its owner exclusive rights to use the trade mark in relation to particular products or services; for example "BMW" for cars. In addition, trade mark owners can take action against others using the same or similar marks. Trade marks can be registered in a particular country only (e.g. the UK), in certain circumstances, the European Union as a whole, or internationally.
FSP has considerable experience in advising on and registering UK trade marks and can provide a comprehensive service handling all aspects of your UK trade mark registration. We can also provide advice and assistance on registering EU and international trade marks.
What is a trade mark and why register?
A trade mark is a name, logo or word (or in certain cases a shape, colour, sound or smell) that is used to distinguish one trader's goods or services from another's. Your company, trading or product names may well be trade marks.
Registration lasts for as long as required (provided the renewal fees are paid) and prevents anyone else using the mark for the same goods or services for which it has been protected. It also helps to raise brand awareness.
What are EU trade marks?
The EU Trade Mark allows nationals of EU member states to make a single trade mark registration that is valid in all EU countries.
Like UK trade marks, EU trade mark protection can be renewed indefinitely. However the process of registering an EU trade mark can be more complicated because there is a wider territory from which third party objections may be raised and the fees payable on filing the application are more costly than for a UK registration.
What is an international trade mark?
If you have a UK trade mark, it is possible to apply to register the trade mark in any countries which are members of the Madrid Protocol. As with community trade marks, an advantage of the international trade marks system is that one application can be made to register the trade mark in a number of jurisdictions across the world for the payment of one fee.
How much will it cost to register a UK trade mark?
There are two elements to the costs of a UK trade mark application:
We can also make a preliminary assessment of your proposed application. Our standard fee is £250 plus VAT, depending on the complexity of the searches we make for you.
How do you register a UK trade mark?
The application process generally lasts between 6 and 12 months and consists of the following stages: