Branding and trademarks are synonymous with the image of a company. To put it in layman’s terms, trademark registration is a means of protecting your brand or idea. For example, the name of your product or service cannot be used by anyone else if you have put the ® symbol next to your brand once the trademark has been registered.
Disney’s Mickey Mouse is widely cited as a prime example of successful trademarking with its legal protection spanning close to a century, far exceeding the typical 10 year life span of a trademark. If you have a particular product or brand that you wish to protect then you may need to register a trademark.
Advice on how to register a trademark
The first step is to check whether your brand qualifies as a trademark. Your trademark must be absolutely unique and cannot be deemed as offensive or misleading. For example, if you claim to be an ‘organic’ company, but your product is not organic, this is classed as misleading information.
There are other factors which are also deemed unacceptable and you can find more information on the government website.
This link will provide you with all the information that you’ll need to consider before registering. You will also need to ensure that your trademark is not already registered and you can do this by searching the trademark database:
There are trademark attorneys who can assist you with these searches. It is better to be thorough at the beginning of the process, to prevent headaches further down the line.
How long does the process take?
If nobody has any objections to your trademark application, the process should take approximately 4 months. However it is worth remembering that your registered trademark only has a life span of 10 years. Furthermore if you have only registered your trade mark within the UK, then it means that your brand is only protected within the UK. It is not a worldwide exclusivity.
Registering a company name with Companies House does not automatically provide trademark protection. However, companies and trademarks are often registered at the same time. You can check if your proposed company name is available for registration with Companies House on our website.