How to Register a Trade Mark

When you register a trade mark in the UK, the procedure is completed through the UK IPO (UK Intellectual Property Office), giving the registrant far wider protection and making any infringement much easier to deal with. The procedure of registering a trade mark will generally take approximately 6 months to complete.

Upon receipt of your instruction, we will conduct a Preliminary Search into the availability and registrability of your proposed trade mark. Once we have concluded our search, we will email you our search report, which will highlight any potential problems with the registration of your mark in relation to similar or identical marks already registered under the same or similar Class of goods and the marks registrability. Our search report will also include our recommendations on the classifications that your goods/services should be registered under.

Depending on the search results, it is up to you to choose to either continue and submit a formal application or to abandon the procedure. Abandoning the procedure is likely to occur if the search report indicates that there are obvious problems with registering your mark that cannot be overcome. Abandoning the procedure could potentially save your business the expense of making an application, which has little or no chance of being accepted for registration. If you choose to continue with the registration process your search fees will be used as partial payment towards your application.

If the Preliminary Search proves to be successful and you choose to submit a formal application to the UK IPO, the Registrar will issue the filing receipt within 10 days, the receipt will confirm the details entered onto the application. As soon as the receipt has been issued, the application will be formerly examined. As soon as the examination report has been issued we will deal with any matters arising from the report by contacting you to discuss in detail. Assuming all matters raised can be overcome and the application is accepted, the UK IPO will publish the application in the Trade Marks Journal. After the mark has been published, there is a two month period in which anybody may oppose its registration. If an opposition is filed against the application and you decide to defend the opposition, further legal fees will become payable to us to defend the application on your behalf. The application must be advertised for two months, this period can be extended to three months if a “Notice of threatened opposition” is filed within the initial two months. If the application is not opposed then the trade mark will automatically be registered three weeks after the end of the opposition period and we will then send you the registration certificate soon afterwards.

To submit your proposed trade mark for our preliminary search with no obligation to proceed, either use the "apply now" button above 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 full payment.

IMPORTANT: Since October 2007, the UK IPO will no longer automatically reject a trade mark application simply because there is an earlier registered mark that may be identical or even similar. It is, however, up to the proprietor of the earlier registered mark to try and prevent the registration of your mark. If the proprietor wishes to try and prevent the registration of your mark, they will need to formerly oppose the application. If they do this, the applicant must either defend the application or formerly withdraw it. The UK IPO is the body that would be making the decision once an opposition has been filed, on whether the application should be refused or accepted because of the earlier mark. The most common reasons for someone wanting to oppose the registration of a trademark are:

  • They think the trademark is one which is not unique to the applicant and should be free for everyone in that line of trade to use
  • They own a brand name (which does not have to be a registered trademark) which is the same as, or similar to, the applicant's mark