What to Consider Before Registering a Trademark

When you start a new business, there are lots of important actions you should take to ensure that you have adequate protection for the business on a number of levels. For example, it’s always recommended that you take out suitable insurance policies to help protect yourselves against financial losses and reputational damage due to unforeseen circumstances.

Another important measure that all businesses should take is registering a trademark. Although this isn’t compulsory, registering a trademark gives you a statutory monopoly in your brand and the rights to stop unauthorised use of it. A registration can protect your brand from infringement and is an important tool to help prevent the unauthorised use of your name or logo. 

When you register a trademark, you can also prevent other businesses from adopting a competing trademark and keep your brand safe for years to come. Your business trademark will become one of your most valuable assets and the fees associated with trademark registration are an investment worth making. Trademarks are an asset that sit on the asset balance sheet of a company and they can be bought, sold and monetised by way of a licence (as appropriate).

If you want to register a trademark, you can do so today via the Trademark Eagle website. Once you have submitted your trademark application, we will carefully review it to ensure you have the best chance of success before going ahead with the registration process. However, there are some important things you should also consider before you register a trademark to speed up the process, including the following;

Whether Your Chosen Name is Available to Register 

Before you make any final decisions on your business name or logo, we would highly recommend that you conduct a thorough trademark search to ensure your trademark is available. Using the search tool on the Trademark Eagle website you can search the UK and EU Trademark Registers to check for any conflicting trademarks that may prevent you from being able to register your chosen trademark. This search tool is supplied with information from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office, so you can trust it will be up-to-date and highlight any potential immediate conflicts. 

We have lots of useful advice and tips for searching for a trademark on our website, such as searching plurals and singular spellings as well as phonetic equivalents, and these can help you to ensure you’re conducting a suitable search. We also recommend you read our Search Tips so that you choose a name that will be acceptable under the current law – as not everything can be protected.

Which Trademark Classes are Best Suited to Your Business

All trademarks are categorised according to the types of goods or services they protect, and these categories are called ‘trademark classes’. There are currently 45 different classes to choose from when you’re registering a trademark for your business and to ensure adequate protection, some trademarks will need to be registered in several different classes. 

It’s very beneficial to do some research into the different trademark classes and the various goods and services they cover. This can help you to make sure you’re selecting the right trademark classes when you’re applying for a trademark. Missing some important classes could result in you being unable to enforce your rights against the unauthorised use of your brand. So, it’s key to make sure you’re selecting all of the classes of goods and services you need. As part of the registration process, we will advise on which classes your business needs and also draft the description of these for you.

Where You’re Going to Operate in the Future

So many businesses assume they only need a UK trademark because they currently run their business in the UK. However, trademark rights are territorial, and trademarks are not protected outside of their jurisdiction. So, if you choose to operate in the EU or internationally in the future, you may encounter problems with your brand and you won’t be suitably protected. In fact, you may be precluded from trading in some countries if there is an earlier mark on the register.

Unfortunately, ‘worldwide’ trademarks don’t exist and if you operate in more than one country, you may need to register trademarks in the countries where you trade. Take some time to carefully consider whether you need a UK trademark, EU trademark and/or some international trademarks and decide where you need your business to be protected. 

Ultimately, if there is a chance that you will operate outside of the UK in the future, you should consider applying ahead of launching your business in these countries and this is something we can help you with. Following Brexit, UK business owners are not able to represent themselves before the EU Registry and you will have to have a professional representative entitled to act before that registry. In essence, the EU trademark needs to be treated as an overseas jurisdiction in much the same way as applying in the USA or Japan as examples.

If Your Trademark Abides by Trademark Law

Whenever you register a trademark, it will need to comply with Trademark Law in the country you are applying in, otherwise Examiners can raise objections and prevent you from being able to register your trademark. Before completing your trademark application, it’s useful to familiarise yourself with some of the most common Registry Objections, such as; the trademark is descriptive of goods or services, it’s too generic, or it features a protected symbol or geographical indication.

It’s beneficial to get some advice from a trademark expert about Trademark Law if you’re unsure whether your registration is likely to be successful. The Trademark Eagle team can advise on all aspects of acceptability and help you ensure that your trademark complies with Trademark Law. Should you encounter any objections after filing your own application, you can also get assistance when countering any objection or suitably amending your trademark application. 

Register a Trademark for Your Business

Thinking about everything mentioned above before registering a trademark for your business can help you to increase the likelihood of your application being successful. To find out more about the trademark registration process or how the team at Trademark Eagle can assist you with your registration, explore the rest of our website today and get in contact if you have specific questions. 

Over the years we have been entrusted with over 4,000 UK trademark applications as well as hundreds of EU and international applications. We help both long-standing, established businesses and those just starting out, and our professional trademark services can make navigating trademark registration simple. To speak to one of our experts, call us on 01223 208 624 or email us at enquiries@trademark-eagle.com and we will get back to you shortly. 

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