What is a trade mark?

A trade mark is a symbol which can distinguish the goods and services of one trader from another: words, logos, pictures or a combination. Your trade mark allows it to be used in relation to good and services and can oppose similar imitations or copies.

What cannot be registered as a trade mark?

Words or logos which would not be considered as a distinguishing mark or a description of goods and services. Offensive, illegal, deceptive or protected symbols. Invented words are allowed!

Commercial identifiers

Trade marks are only one section within a class of IP assets called “commercial identifiers”:

  • Company Identifiers: company name and logo;
  • Product Identifiers: brand names (symbol, letter, design, icon…) “design marks”/”trade get up” e.g. Coca Cola’s famous ribbed bottle;
  • Service Identifiers: service offered, shape and decoration of stores.

Commercial identifiers are the most commonly overlooked IP assets by entrepreneurs – however, trade mark protection is an important component of a company’s overall IP strategy, and is critical when considering the overall market status and presence of your business. This can be detrimental to the security of a business’s assets, and can potentially lead to an undervaluing of the business when considering an exit strategy.

What are the fees and timescales?

Fees – an online application costs £170

Timescales – it takes roughly 3 months if the trade mark has no objections

How do trade marks apply to me?

Metis Partners run a preliminary “brand assessor” to see whether a proposed trade mark is capable of registration before your company goes through the time and effort of registering it. Metis Partners are also leaders in brand sales (take a look at some of our past sales), a particularly useful option if your company owns a brand with significant heritage value which it is no longer using.

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