How to trademark intellectual property

Keen to protect your intellectual property (IP) using a trade mark? You’ve come to the right place.

Our team of attorneys has provided expert legal guidance to countless customers, helping them to register and protect their trade marks and registered designs.

Below, we explain what kind of IP can be protected using a trade mark and how to trademark intellectual property in a clear step-by-step guide.

Alternatively, you can always give our knowledgeable team a call today to find out more – the initial consultation is free!

Can your intellectual property be protected with a trade mark?

The only types of IP that can be protected using a trade mark in the UK are is signs that are used to identify a business, its products, and its services from other competitors, products, and services on the market. Trade marks are most commonly used to protect the name of a product or service, but logos, sounds, colours and the shape of a product can also be protected.

You cannot trade mark common words that are used to describe everyday items, such as ‘lemon for lemons’ or ‘potato for potatoes’. But trademarks that contain these everyday words can be protected with additional clever wording – for example POLAR LEMON, or BRIGHT POTATO should be acceptable. Similarly, inventions as well as literary and creative pieces of work also can’t be trademarked.

Instead, inventions can be protected using patents, while any literary and creative work is covered by copyright law.

How to trademark intellectual property

To help you understand the basic process of trademarking intellectual property, we’ve created this step-by-step guide.

From doing your research to trade mark filing fees, we cover it all below.

Conducting a trade mark check

An essential for step to trademarking your IP is checking for any of the same or similar trade marks that have already been registered with the IPO (Intellectual Property Office). If you choose to apply using Right Start trade mark registration, the IPO will conduct these checks for you.

This stage is the ideal time to reach out to an experienced attorney to provide you with expert legal advice. Contacting an attorney is especially important if the trade mark check does reveal trade marks similar to your own as they can advise whether it is sensible to file an application, and whether changes to the brand would negate likely objections. Any owners of similar or identical existing trade marks will be contacted by the IPO following your application.

Preparing your application

When preparing your application, you must gather all relevant information starting with the general category (referred to as class) and specific type of good or services (referred to as term) that you want to use your trade mark on.

You’ll also need to make a note of key trade mark details, like the slogan or illustration, alongside gathering information regarding the person or company that wants to become the owner of the trade mark.

Filing your application

There are various ways to apply for a trade mark. This includes the Right Start application (the IPO checks that your application meets certain rules before you pay the full fee although many Right Start Applicants relinquish applications that may in fact be accepted if you took attorney advice), the Series application (suitable for registering up to 6 variations of a trade mark in the same application, although not all variations will be accepted as a series), and the Standard application.

To apply, you can either head online or submit the relevant form via post to the IPO. It’s important to note, however, that you will be required to pay an application fee, and this fee varies depending on the type of application you submit alongside the number of trade mark classes you’ve chosen.

After applying

Once your application has been examined by the IPO, you’ll be sent an examination report within 2-3 weeks. You’ll then have two months to rectify any issues the IPO may have found. If your application is without issue or you can resolve these problems within the 2-month limit, your trade mark will be registered 10 weeks after publication – except in cases where your trade mark has been opposed.

Contact Trademark Eagle today

Obtaining trade mark guidance from an experienced attorney can be essential to the success of your trade mark application. Alongside providing with trade mark registration and protection services, we can also support you with copyright issues, and design registration and enforcement.

To find out more about intellectual property, how to trademark intellectual property, or the IP services available here at Trademark Eagle, why not get in touch? All initial consultations are free, so please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0122 3208 624.

Alternatively, we also welcome email enquiries sent to or submitted using our online contact form. You can even speak directly to a member of our team using our convenient live chat feature.

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