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FAQs - Trade Marks

I’ve registered my company name and domain name – do I still need to register my trade


Yes. Registering your company name and domain name gives you no right to stop other people using that name. A trade mark registration allows you to stop others using your trade mark for the goods and services for which it is registered.

I’ve been using my mark for a few years – do I still need to register it?

Yes, we would strongly advise that you do. Although use of a mark gives you some rights under passing off law, these rights are very hard to acquire and even harder to enforce. If you do not register your trade mark, somebody else could register it and prevent you from using it, even though you started using it first.

Someone has already registered the mark I want to use but for completely different goods –does it matter?

It depends. If the trade mark has a significant reputation, its owner could stop you using the mark on unrelated goods. For example, we would not recommend use of the mark “Coca-Cola” on any goods no matter how different they are from fizzy drinks! However, if the mark is not well known, use on unrelated goods is unlikely to cause you a problem. This is definitely an area where it is worth seeking advice rather than just assuming you can or cannot not use a mark.

I have an idea for a company name, what should I do?

You should consider instructing us to carry out a trade mark search before adopting the name, to ensure that nobody else has registered the name as a trade mark. Beware that Companies House does not perform a trade mark search when registering a company name. If you are interested in a trade mark search, please consult our Trade Mark Searches download or call us for further information.

How long does it take to register a trade mark?

Typically about nine months for a UK trade mark registration, but longer if difficulties arise.

How long does a trade mark registration last?

Indefinitely, subject to the payment of renewal fees every 10 years.


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