Preliminary Search Report

Before submitting a trade mark application, we recommend that a preliminary search for possible conflicting marks be carried out. This is to ensure that your chosen name/logo does not infringe any existing registered trade marks and that it meets the requirements for registration based on the Trade Marks Act 1994 and Trade Marks Rules 2000 (as modified).

Conducting a preliminary search could save your business the expense of making an application, which has little or no chance of becoming registered. Therefore, it is advisable to conduct a preliminary search before submitting the application to the UK IPO as once it has been submitted, the UK IPO will examine your application. If the Examiner considers that there are earlier conflicting marks already on the register, the UK IPO will formerly notify the owners of these marks about your application. In addition, once your application has been submitted to the UK IPO, you cannot alter it and your application fee is none refundable.

Owners of earlier conflicting marks are then entitled to object to your application by filing a formal opposition with the UK IPO. Depending on the nature of the opposition filed, you can either withdraw your application thereby terminating your proposed application, try and restrict the list of goods and services to overcome the clash with the earlier mark or you may choose to defend the opposition. Defending an opposition essentially consists of providing evidence of use of your mark to the UK IPO in order to reinforce your defence. The opposition party will also be required to submit evidence to reinforce their case. Opposition cases can typically last 12 to 24 months and will require you to gather evidence of your use of the mark for at least the last 4 to 5 years. The more evidence you can provide the better.

As Part of the preliminary search process, we will conduct a thorough search of the relevant trade mark databases for potentially conflicting trade marks that may cause a problem to your application. We will inform you of what (if any) marks we have found and our opinion on how we feel these marks will affect your trade mark application. In addition, we will also inform you of the registrability of your trade mark as it must be distinctive for the goods or services which you are applying to register it for, not deceptive, or contrary to law or morality, and not similar or identical to any earlier marks for the same or similar goods. Furthermore, we will also include our recommendations on the classifications that your goods/services should be registered under.

The classification system is comprised of 45 Classes and groups together broadly similar goods or services into categories, which assists the registry in carrying out efficient searches of the register. Whilst classification may be seen as an administrative tool its importance to applicants in relation to determining the boundaries of infringement rights cannot be stressed too highly. When we search the UK IPO register for earlier trade marks which may be the same as or similar to your mark, we only look in classes that may contain the same or similar goods or services to those in your application. If the classification of the goods or services on an application is made incorrectly, the validity of any rights stemming from a subsequent registration might be called into question at a later date, which could result in a mark being the subject of proceedings to remove it from the register.

To submit your proposed trade mark for our preliminary search with no obligation to proceed, use the apply now button at the top of the page or click here. You will then receive your invoice by email for the amount of £50.00 plus VAT. Your Preliminary Search Report will be emailed to you within 24 hours upon receipt of payment. If you choose to continue with the registration process your preliminary search fee will be used as part payment towards your application.