As a new business, how do you ensure your idea is protected from potential copycats, bigger businesses, and individuals trying to ride off the back of your business?
Registering a trademark will be the answer to most, if not all, of the above. With 20 years’ experience as a solicitor,Reina D’Costa,the founder and managing director of Bizlaw U.K., provides advice, steps, and all the information you need to make sure your business remains yours.
What’s a Trademark?
Local businesses, multinationals, charities, content creators, and celebrities are all owners of trademarks. A trademark can be any sign that identifies you as the owner of your goods or services to make it clear they belong to you. The UK registration process takes about 4 months if no one objects. Registered trademarks last 10 years.
Registering your UK Trademark
You can register your trademark to protect your brand, for example, the name of your product or service.
When you register your trademark, you will be able to:
- take legal action against anyone who uses your brand without your permission, including counterfeiters (fake branded products including piracy)
- put the ® symbol next to your brand – to show that it’s yours and warn others against using it
- sell and license your brand eg. Franchising
Can I register my own trademark and if so, what is the process?
Yes, you can register your own trademark.
It is advised you follow these steps:
- Check if your brand qualifies to be registered
- Carry out searches at the Trademark Registry and online to see if a similar mark has already been registered
- Decide on the appropriate class.
- Make the application
- Keep track and deal with any objections, should they arise.
Sounds overwhelming. Can I instruct a professional to register on my behalf instead?
Absolutely, one of our specialities at Bizlaw UK is Trademarking and we can help you secure your mark for a fixed fee via mi terms.
A UK Trademark Registration and Searches service is currently available for £750, but please reach out if you require a tailored service. We will carry out searches, file the application and keep tabs on it for you. If there are any objections to the application, I can support you through it.
contributed by Reina D’Costa, Biz Law UK
Prevention is Better than Cure!