What is a Trade Mark?
Trade marks indicate the origin of a product or service to the public and are an important form of Intellectual Property (IP). Trade marks (TM) are registrable, which means you can apply to get your trade mark registered at a national or Regional IP Office (e.g. the UK IP Office or the European IP Office). An unregistered TM may use the ™ symbol and only a registered TM can use the ® symbol.
Trade marks protect your brand and intellectual property, registered TMs can last indefinitely once they are renewed every ten years, for example Bass® with its Red Triangle logo was registered in 1876 is still in force. Furthermore, a registered TM is advantageous for TM infringement proceedings and simplifies any transactions related to the TM (e.g., licensing or sale of the TM where it is registered).
The TM application process includes examination by a TM examiner, and if accepted for registration, the TM is published in an IP Office online Official TM Journal. In the UK, third parties have 2 months from publication to oppose registration of a TM and 3 months from publication for an EU TM. Companies often set up regular watches on these publications to prevent registration of TMs that could otherwise negatively impact their own TMs.
To become registered, a TM should be:
1) Distinctive and different from already existing TMs
2) Capable of distinguishing your product or service from other products/services.
3) Descriptive of the product or service and/or commonly used in the relevant market or technology.
A TM can be one or more of the following:
• Product shape
• A figure or logo
• A word/slogan
How We Can Help You
At IF R&D Tax Credits we are here to help you on your journey of innovation and advancement. Our dedicated IP Service team are here to help you protect and manage your brand and innovation, please do not hesitate the contact us Edward.firstname.lastname@example.org.