Ever wondered if your brand name is already trademarked by someone else? If not, great! You can breathe a sigh of relief. But if it is, you might have to change your brand name or run the risk of infringing on someone else’s intellectual property rights.
In this blog, we’ll look at how you can conduct a trademark search in the UK and how it can help protect your brand from trademark infringement. We’ll cover everything you need to know about trademarks and trademark registration in the UK and how you can register for one.
Why You Need to Conduct a United Kingdom Trademark Search
A UK trademark search is important before registering a mark to determine if another business is already using the same mark in the UK. A search can be conducted on the UK Intellectual Property Office website, but it can be time-consuming and tedious.
It’s recommended to work with an experienced attorney to conduct a thorough search and identify all potentially conflicting marks and determine the best course of action for your business.
Foreign entities and persons can register a trademark in the UK, but they will need to be represented by a UK attorney or law firm. Maintaining trademark rights is crucial for businesses operating in the UK, as registration provides legal protection from unauthorized use of their marks.
How to Complete a UK Trademark Database Search
The database can be found directly on the UK IPO website. There are a variety of ways to search for information, such as by keyword, phrase, or image. It is important to search for exact and similar matches to ensure there are no trademark conflicts.
Before registering a trademark, it is important to conduct a comprehensive search. This includes searching through the database and other legal databases, such as the UK Intellectual Property Office’s online trade marks journal. By doing this, you can ensure that your mark is not already taken by another party.
In addition to using these resources, it is also vital to conduct trademark registration searches for any intellectual property that may be similar to your mark. Doing so will help to avoid any potential conflicts and protect your brand’s identity.
What does the UK trademark search process involve?
The process of trademark searching in the United Kingdom involves a number of steps, including:
- Deciding on the goods and services to be covered by the mark;
- Searching through relevant databases for any similar marks;
- Checking whether there are any trade names or registered trademarks that could be confused with your proposed mark;
- Examining other legal factors that could affect registration, such as using a celebrity’s name or image without permission; and
- Consulting with an experienced trademark attorney to discuss the results of your search and decide on the best course of action
Benefits of a Trademark Search UK
There are many benefits to conducting a trademark search in the United Kingdom, including:
- Avoiding infringement claims – If you register a mark that is already taken by third parties, you could be sued for trade mark infringement. By searching for similar marks before registering your own, you can avoid this risk.
- Reducing the cost of registration – The process of applying for and registering a trademark can be costly. If your mark is found to be too similar to an existing one, you may have to make changes or abandon the application altogether. Conducting a search upfront can help to avoid these issues.
- Protecting your brand identity – A trade mark search can help you to identify any potential threats to your brand’s identity. By finding and addressing these issues early on, you can avoid the cost and hassle of rebranding down the line.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Conducting a UK Trademark Search
There are several common mistakes you can avoid while conducting a trademark search. Firstly, failing to obtain trade mark registration for an already existing mark can lead to confusion among consumers and even legal issues down the line if the mark is not registered properly.
Secondly, not conducting a trademark search for every new mark or product can limit your brand’s exposure and also miss out on valuable intellectual property protection.
Lastly, not understanding the difference between UK and EU trademarks before applying for registration can lead to complications with patent applications and trademark registration.
How to Protect Your Brand with a UK Trademark Registration
The trademark registration process involves filing a trademark application with the IPO, paying a registration fee and submitting documentation to support the claims made in the application.
Once approved, your trade mark becomes legal property of the government and can be used to protect your brand and intellectual property.
A registered trademark also grants exclusive rights to use, franchise, and sell your mark. This helps prevent others from using your mark without permission and protects your business identity and reputation in England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
Trademark registration provides many benefits and is an important part of intellectual property protection. However, it’s important to note that a registered trademark does not guarantee that other parties will recognise it as yours or that others will be able to use it without violating your rights.
Also, a registered trademark does not guarantee protection against infringement by other parties.
A trade mark registration won’t prevent others from using similar marks for their own products or services. Instead, it is vital to actively manage trademarks using tools such as UK trademarks registration, trade dress protection, and intellectual property management practices to ensure continued protection of intellectual property rights.
What’s Cost of a UK Trademark Registration?
The cost of a trademark registration varies according to the assessment type chosen. A Standard assessment is £170, which is non-refundable and payable in advance. The Right Start assessment is £200 altogether, but only £100 is payable at the outset. If the application is rejected, the sunk cost is only £100. For each additional class, an extra fee of £50 is charged.
Our company provides trademark submission services for £350, which includes a British representative for one year regardless of the number of classes. This covers all trademark-related legal costs and expenses as well as a British trademark search report/search report. This gives you a better idea of your trademark’s reputation and its marketability, which can help you decide whether or not to register it.
How can I do a UK trademark search on my own?
Beginning with account creation, accessing the UK intellectual property office website and utilising their search function with keywords relevant to the product or service in question is the initial step in performing a trademark search. Subsequently, results can be filtered by registration number, owner name, and more.
Is Trademarking free in the UK?
The UK Intellectual Property Office offers different routes to trademark registration with varying costs. A Right Start application allows reduced initial fees and balance payment later. £50 is charged for each additional class of goods or services.
The UK Trademark registration process is an important step in protecting your brand. However, trademark search is considered as a must before registering a trademark to avoid any disputes related to trademark infringement and ultimately legal action.
With the help of online trademark database, you can easily perform trademark search. You need to understand the importance of this before starting the process. Various factors such as products, services, and slogans should be highlighted in the trademark application and these are essential for registering a trademark within the right classification.
Before starting the process, you must consult an intellectual property lawyer or trademark professional and get specific legal advice on trademarks. The trademarks are registered with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and they will provide information about them. You can also consider getting professional help if you are uncertain about the process or want more information on trademarks.
We hope this blog has helped you understand the importance of conducting a trademark search before you begin a business. Not only is it essential to protect your brand and intellectual property, but it’s also vital to ensure that no one else is using a similar mark (which could result in legal trouble). If you’re still not sure whether or not to conduct a trademark search, book a consultation with our trade mark experts today!
Written by Ellis Sweetenham – Senior Intellectual Property Law Consultant
After achieving a First Class LLB Law degree from Southampton Solent University in 2016, Ellis went on to complete an LPC LLM in Legal Practice in 2017 at the University of Law. Following her training, Ellis was admitted to the roll as a Solicitor in February 2019.
As part of her role as a Senior Intellectual Property Law Consultant, Ellis manages the team, and is there to advise all clients on any area of trade mark law. Ellis prides herself on her ability to act within her clients’ best interests at all times, pushing forward to assist them in ensuring their brand is fully protected. In addition to assisting Trademarkroom clients in protecting their brand, Ellis will also be on hand as part of her role as a Solicitor at sister company Lawdit Solicitors to assist with any contentious matters that may arise.