Trade Marks - UK, Europe and Internationally
A trade mark is a sign, which can be a word or words, a logo, combinations of these, or even a particular sound or smell, that provides brand or product recognition.
A trade mark must not be similar to an existing trade mark used for the same class of goods or services (but can be the same if used for different types of goods or services, e.g. Penguin® for books and for chocolate biscuits).
Simple descriptions of goods or services, for example ‘Value Paints’, are not good trade marks. Equally, they should not be deceptive, such as suggesting a certain level of quality that cannot be achieved. Made up words (e.g. Kitkat®, Persil®) are often a good way of ensuring that a trade mark will be accepted.
A trade mark can be registered ® or unregistered. Enforcing unregistered trade marks can be difficult and time consuming. Therefore, registration is always recommended.
Trade Mark Searching and Filing
We offer all trade mark services in the UK, Europe and internationally. An early clearance search and registrability opinion is highly recommended. Based upon our in-house and expert searches we can direct clients towards more acceptable marks and avoid potential future disputes, enhancing trade mark value from the outset.
We file locally and abroad, via foreign associates or, where appropriate, utilising the Madrid system to reduce cost of multi-country coverage. We defend our clients’ marks in oppositions and prosecute oppositions, both at the UKIPO and at EUIPO in Alicante, where the rights of our clients are threatened by later filings by third parties.
In the UK we have acted via the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (in both its full and small claims track divisions).
Working for UK Start-ups to Multinational Companies
Our clients in the trade mark field vary from UK start-ups through small and medium-sized enterprises to multinational companies. All have their brands at the heart of their business interests and for all we can act across the board in meeting their trade mark needs.
We can manage portfolios across multiple territories, clearing, filing and registering trade marks and advising re international strategies or just on securing the best value registrations in the UK and Europe. Striking a balance between today and tomorrow in framing the goods and services to be covered sounds like bread and butter but not everyone does it the way we do; we are pragmatic and this yields good results and good value.
Contentious proceedings are common in this intellectual property sphere. We take a pro-active approach to try to ensure disputes are resolved before our clients end up unnecessarily in court or in opposition. Once in opposition, acting without running up against procedural deadlines makes it more likely that satisfactory outcomes are the result instead of simply cost for little coverage.