Registered Trade Marks
Your brand is one of the most valuable parts of your business. It helps consumers identify your goods and services and enables you to build a reputation and customer loyalty. Various aspects of your branding can be registered as a trade mark, including your company name, logo, strapline and individual product names etc.
You can get all the help you need from us at Vault IP. We can conduct clearance searches to ensure that a mark is free for use, so that you do not spend time and money on marketing materials only to find that you have to change your mark as a result of conflict with an earlier right. We prepare suitable specifications of goods and services for filing, to ensure that any resulting registration adequately covers your interests. We prepare and file trade mark applications on your behalf and deal with any associated objections or oppositions. We can assist you in registering your trade marks in the UK and overseas, depending on your current and future business requirements. In an ideal world, you would register all trade marks, for all goods/services of interest and in all territories in which you trade or intend to trade. However, we understand that you do not have a bottomless pit of money and we will work with you to ensure that you secure the best protection for your budget.
Other services include:
filing oppositions to applications filed by third parties;
filing and defending revocation and invalidation actions;
recording changes of name and address and changes in ownership;
negotiating and concluding co-existence and settlement agreement;
sending cease and desist letters; and
attending to trade mark renewals.
With regard to the registration of trade marks, we have prepared some infographics to show the procedure from filing to registration of an application in the UK and EU and associated timescales. Please note that these represent an application which proceeds to registration without encountering objections from the Trade Marks Office or oppositions from third parties. We have also prepared a more indepth infographic to show how the process from adoption of a new trade mark to registration works and what happens if objections and/or oppositions are encountered.
Unregistered Trade Marks
It is possible to acquire rights in trade marks through use and these rights are protectable under the law of ‘passing off’. However, it requires extensive use over a significant amount of time to acquire unregistered rights, which can leave you in a vulnerable position in the intervening period. Furthermore, once acquired, unregistered rights can be extremely difficult and costly to rely on, particularly as you have to prove the following:
that you have goodwill in your mark;
that there has been a misrepresentation by a third party; and
there has been (or would be) resulting damage.
In light of the above, we do not recommend that you rely solely on unregistered rights and that you secure registration for all of your important marks.