What can be registered as a trade mark?

If you need help understanding what can be registered as a trade mark in the UK, then you’ve come to the right place!

Here at Trademark Eagle, our expert team of legal advisors have years of experience helping businesses protect what matters.

Below, we explain what can be considered a trade mark, how to register a trade mark, and what cannot be registered as a trade mark in the UK.

What can be considered a trade mark?

The term ‘trade mark’ can be applied to almost anything that can be represented graphically and is used to distinguish your company, goods, or services from other competitors in the same industry.

Company names, logos, and slogans are some of the most common types of trade marks, but sounds, gestures, and even colours can also be trademarked.

What is an example of a trade mark?

There are countless examples of trade marks in both the UK and internationally.

From the golden yellow arch of the popular fast food eatery McDonalds to the unmistakeable Nike tick, we naturally associate certain sounds, symbols, and even fonts with well-known brands.

What are the criteria for a trade mark?

Unsure whether an aspect of your business can be registered as a trade mark? Before you automatically assume that this aspect of your company isn’t worth protecting, why not see if it falls under the criteria for a trade mark?

For something to be considered a trade mark in the UK, it must meet certain criteria – it should be:

  • Distinctive for the goods and services for which it’s registered
  • A single word, letters, numerals, logo, picture, or a mixture
  • Non-descriptive of the good or services for which it’s registered
  • Non-deceptive of the good or services for which it’s registered
  • Distinct from any earlier valid registered trade marks

If you’d like to find out more about what can be registered as a trade mark or are unsure whether your desired trade mark meets the necessary requirements, it’s always best to consult the professionals.

At Trademark Eagle, our expert in-house team can discuss your options and help you to protect your intellectual property in the right way.

How difficult is it to register a trade mark?

In the UK, registering your trade mark can be done either online or via post by simply filling in and submitting the relevant application.

This comes with a cost of £170 (and an extra £50 for each additional class).

While there’s no requirement to seek support from a legal advisor, you may want to ask a professional with trade mark registration experience for guidance if you’re new to this process or your trade mark application is particularly complex.

This will help to prevent costly and time-consuming mistakes by ensuring your trade mark registration application is both accurate and thorough.

What cannot be registered as a trade mark?

As mentioned above, aspects of a business that cannot be trademarked includes things that are descriptive of the good or services for which they registered.

For example, where the term describes the item as it is, e.g. a ‘banana’ or ‘laptop’ or any other common words. This is because these words must be reserved for general use.

Similarly, you cannot trade mark something that is deceptive or misleading of the good or services for which they registered. By way of illustrating, you cannot trade mark the term ‘VEGAN TREATS’ for meat and dairy products.

Plus, anything that features a national flag, heraldic device, or names of members of the Royal family as examples.

Trade marks that contain geographical locations can be subject to an objection as the assumption is that the goods or services will emanate from that location (London as an example). In addition trade marks comprising of a geographical location can have objections raised against them if they name should be free for others to use for the products for which protection is sought (Norwich for beauty services as an example.

If you’d like to find out more about what can be registered as a trademark in the UK and what cannot, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced in-house team today.

Register, renew, and monitor your trade mark

Ready to register your trade mark? Contact our expert team today.

At Trademark Eagle, we’ve protected more than 5,500 trademarks in the UK, EU, and internationally.

We can support you throughout the entire trade mark registration application process, including helping you to understand the impact that both intentional and unintentional trade mark infringement can have on your business.

Regardless of whether you’re concerned about national and international competing trade marks, or you simply want to protect the reputation and success of your business, please don’t hesitate to contact our professional team today.

To learn more about the trade mark protections services available at Trademark Eagle, you can either give our expert legal team a call on 0122 3208 624 or send your enquiry via email to enquiries@trademark-eagle.com.

Alternatively, you can also get in touch using our convenient live chat feature.

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