How to file a trade mark
The trade mark filing process can be relatively straightforward. In theory, all an applicant needs to do is access the relevant trade mark website, enter the word they wish to create a mark for, add the relevant goods and services to apply to the mark and pay the fee.
However, it can be this simplicity which causes people problems because it is often too easy to register marks without any help or guidance from a professional trade mark attorney. This often means the mark is not as good as it could be either to cover the relevant goods or services, or to ensure there is less likelihood for infringement. The ease of filing a trade mark can directly contribute to the number of people looking for help from an attorney, usually when there is an issue with the mark in future based on problems that could have been avoided at the outset.
Once a trade mark is filed, it is officially published as a means of notifying potential earlier rights holders of its existence. This means that any party who wishes to, can see new applications that have been filed. Large businesses with huge value in their trade marks continually monitor new applications within their fields and act quickly against anyone that files a potentially infringing mark. Systems exist to analyse newly filed trade marks and so it is quite likely that you will feature on a monitoring report of an earlier trade mark right holder.
Within the filing process, there can be an inherent fear for unqualified people over what they cannot find versus what they can when searching for trade marks. There is a huge amount of information related to trade marks and without skills, training and expertise, it is very easy to fall foul of the details which could lead to an infringement dispute. This is where the guidance of a trade mark attorney becomes invaluable.
At Keltie, we want to be involved as early in your branding process as possible. Think of us as co-creators, helping and guiding you with brand formation. Involving an attorney earlier in the process limits the likelihood of a trade mark being incorrect insofar as it either does not cover your product adequately, or infringes another trade mark owner’s rights.
We can limit the potential negative implications on your business or perhaps avoid the expense of legal proceedings, by getting your trade mark right from the outset whilst providing a strategy that compliments a desired business plan. Trade marks can be developed so quickly, that people often begin to use them before they are registered, thinking that securing a domain name or social media account handle is part of the same process when that really isn’t the case.
However, all that creativity and development work could be worthless if another party has already secured a registered trade mark for the same name. It is rare that businesses secure all the elements of their brand and marketing portfolio and pick up a matching trade mark later, with many having to begin the process again. To get the best protection for the investment in your new brand or innovation, across all types of platforms, contact Keltie’s expert trade marks team.
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Even superheroes face trade mark problems: that’s the takeaway from episode five of the new TV series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (available in the UK on Disney+).
10.08.2022Protecting NFTs and cryptofinance services as trade marks
The EUIPO recently published new guidance on the classification of trade mark applications for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This guidance is helpful as we are seeing many filings in this area; however, further clarification may be needed.
12.09.2022The long-term impact of Brexit on trade marks and designs
Six years on from the Brexit referendum, we can happily say that the measures put in place for trade marks and designs have been successful in delivering a smooth transition. But IP owners now need to pay attention to upcoming changes to rights of representation, particularly in light of the huge growth in applications at the UK IPO.