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We Protect Inventions, Innovations and Brands in United Kingdom, Europe,and around the World

Trade Marks

Corporate identity, a company's brand names or logos can be the most valuable marketing tool that it owns. Quite simply, trade marks sell products and services.

Registration of a trade mark protects this important business asset, giving the proprietor the legal remedy to prevent others from using the same or similar mark and protecting your legitimate service industry or manufacturing base.

A trade mark is a valuable asset, often vital to attracting investment or creating licensing opportunities. Choosing a suitable trade mark is often key to commercial success. In general terms, a trade mark is any sign capable of distinguishing the goods of services of one proprietor from those of another, but the specific definition of a trade mark differs according to the national law, from one country to another.

The most common types of trade mark include business names, product names, brand names and graphical logos. However, trade marks can also include words including personal names, designs, letters, numerals, the shape of goods, or their packaging.

Trade marks can either be unregistered, that is, in use but not registered with a national trade marks office, or registered. Some countries allow rights for both unregistered and registered trade marks, but in many states significant rights are only attached to marks which are registered. Examples of countries which allow rights for both unregistered and registered trade marks include the United Kingdom and the United States. However, it is unwise to rely solely on unregistered trade mark rights and if registration is available, then wherever possible, these registered rights should in general always be applied for.

Itís vital to register your company name and/or logo and your important product names as trade marks, in all countries where you want to be able to stop others using these names and logos. As you probably know, it is not sufficient to register your company name and domain name Ė these generally give you no significant rights over other companies.

If you donít carry out a search before starting to use a new trade mark, you may find yourself infringing the registered trade mark of another company. They could stop you using your new mark, force you to destroy all products and literature bearing the mark and claim costs and damages from you. Although it may be possible to reach some kind of settlement, these situations inevitably prove costly in time and money, and we therefore strongly recommend a trade mark search before adoption of a new mark.

Our registered trade mark attorneys and agents have experience in all aspects of trade mark protection work ranging from preliminary searches through trade mark filing procedure worldwide, prosecution of applications, appeal and oppositions, as well as litigation experience. Our trade mark attorneys and agents also handle due diligence work, trade mark portfolio reviews and provide infringement advice. Our attorneys are registered trade mark attorneys and therefore qualified to act before the United Kingdom Trade Mark Office and the Community Trade Mark Office in matters concerning trade marks and industrial designs.

We offer a full trade mark search, advice and management service ranging from initial clearance searches, through to filing and prosecution of trade mark applications, registration of marks, and maintenance of trade marks after filing including policing and trade mark watching services to guard against dilution and infringement of your trade mark rights.

If you have a problem of infringement of somebody else's trade mark rights, then we can advise on the strength of those rights, and suggest possible co-existence agreements or consent agreements which may enable you to continue using your mark either in a restricted territory under a license agreement, or by agreement or consent of the owner of the registered trade mark rights.

Click here for filing an application for trademark registration in the United Kingdom.


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