UK Trademark Applications
For companies trading in only the UK and with no plans to trade abroad then a UK trademark application is the best option.
The alternative is a Community trademark application, which covers the whole EU including the UK, but this is more expensive and more likely to have problems with earlier rights – please click here for more information on Community trademarks.
Filing a first trademark application, such as a UK application, for a particular mark, generates a ‘priority date’. Provided applications for overseas trademark protection are filed within 6 months of the first filing then they can be backdated to the date of filing the first application. Thus, for example if you file a first application in the UK you are notionally protected worldwide provided applications for overseas protection are filed within 6 months.
Once a UK trademark application has been filed the UK Trade Marks Registry performs a search to try to find any identical/similar marks registered for identical/similar goods or services. The Registry also examines the application to check that it complies with the inherent registrability requirements. If the Registry finds any conflicting marks or has any other objections to registering the mark then it will issue an examination report inviting observations and arguments against the objections.
The Trade Mark Registry does not reject applications on the basis of any such conflicting marks, but if any citations of earlier marks cannot be overcome by argument and the application is allowed to proceed to publication then in some instances the Registry will write to the owners of the cited registrations inviting them to oppose the application.
Every trademark application has to be published for opposition purposes prior to a mark proceeding to registration. If, within two months from the date of publication, no one opposes the application or threatens to oppose it then the mark will proceed to registration.
A UK trademark registration is renewable every ten years and can last indefinitely.
Contact us for a free consultation or more information on UK trademark applications.