How to register a trademark in the UK

register a trademark in the UK

General definition of a trademark

Trademarks allow companies to distinguish their products or services from similar ones on the market. They can be expressed by names, words, signs, colors, slogans, logos or figures.

Trademarks can be registered for specific goods or services within specific areas known as classes.

Registering a trademark will allow you to:

– Sell and license your brand;

– take legal action if someone uses your brand without permission or counterfeits goods; and

– use the ® symbol alongside your brand, which will help prevent other companies from using it.

1. UK National Trademark
You can get a UK national trademark by applying to the British Intellectual Property Office. If registration is successful, the trademark will be valid for ten years with the possibility of renewal after that period expires.

Existing registered trademarks in the UK will remain valid after Brexit. Under the Withdrawal Bill in the UK, EU law will become part of British law. This means that the substantive legal framework for trademark registration in the UK should not change significantly.

2. The EU Trademark
Since April 1996, brand owners can register their trademark in the EU by applying to the European Intellectual Property Rights Office, thereby obtaining brand protection across the bloc of European countries, including the UK.

The EU Withdrawal Bill, published in March 2018, confirms that the intellectual property rights of already registered trademarks are guaranteed throughout the transition period until December 31, 2020.

However, it is unclear exactly what will happen after the transition period is over. The EU assumes that trademarks registered in the UK and the EU will be covered by protection, but there are no guarantees for this yet. It is also unclear who will pay for the costs associated with bringing EU trademarks into the UK register.

3 International registration
International registrations can be applied for at the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) under the Madrid Protocol. This system allows you, when applying for a trademark registration in the UK, to create the basis of an application for an international registration with the option of selecting the countries where your brand will be protected.

Since this form of intellectual property is based on a national agreement, Brexit should not affect the legitimacy of trademarks. However, British companies not doing business in Europe will no longer be able to apply for and register an international trademark with the EU mark (EUTM).

5. What kind of business is eligible for non-registration

It is important to understand that registering a brand or company in the UK is allowed for all types of business activities that do not violate local laws.
However, there may be exceptions in the form of restrictions on certain activities such as alcohol, tobacco, petroleum, as additional licensing is required beforehand.
We recommend contacting us for advice and get all the answers to your questions.

Conclusion

It is impossible to say for sure how the work in the field of trademarks will be realized in the future.
 For example, it is not entirely clear what may happen with EU trademark applications that will be pending after the end of the transition period.

We recommend all those who wish to register a trademark not to delay and to start the process now in order to be in time for the end of the transitional period.
It is still possible to do so under the current legislation. If you need more information on any aspect of your brand protection, you can contact Profitmark specialists.

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