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A Guide on Trade Mark Registration

The importance of trademark registration and the process of registration.

Businesses spend a lot of money in developing a brand and often forget to register the logo or design. As part of good practice it is essential that a business protect its intellectual property by registering their logo or design.

This Guide will take you through the process of registration. However it is essential that you enter the registration process by using the services of a specialist Trade Mark Agent.

 

WHAT IS A TRADE MARK?

A Trade Mark is a logo or design that distinguishes your product or service offering from your competitors.

It is an essential marketing tool that is used in your commutation to customers to build recognition.

A Trade Mark includes words, logos, images and/or a combination thereof.

 

WHY IS IMPORTANT THAT I REGISTER A TRADE MARK?

By registering your logo as a trademark it prevents other parties from using a similar trade mark for identical goods or services without your consent. This adds value to your business. If your business needs to raise funding from external sources, investors will as part of their Due Diligence inevitably ask if the product/service name and logo has been Trade Marked and registered.

 

THE FIRST STEP

The first step in a Trade Mark registration is to complete a Trade Mark Search. This eliminates the risk that the chosen trademark is not already registered or is similar to a previous registration.

 

WHAT IS A TRADE MARK SEARCH?

A Trade Mark Search is a vital part of the registration process that reveals whether the proposed mark is capable of registration. The search shows whether an identical or similar mark is registered in the same or similar category to your business.

If you fail to carry out a search you increase the risks of losing all fees attached to the application.

A search is carried out in the relevant databases to identify any existing identical or similar Trade Mark.

The three types of Trade Mark Searches: Word – Word & Logo – Logo only.

The search should take typically take approximately 48 – 72 hrs.

 

TRADE MARK REGISTRATION

When applying to register your Trade Mark you must ensure that the goods/services are registered in all classes that you wish to trade within. There are 45 classes are split into two parts. Class 1-34 are for the registration of goods, class 35-45 are for the registration of a service. A list of these classes appears in the Appendix 1.

 

WHAT IS A COMMUNITY TRADE MARK?

A CTM provides protection for a mark in all 27 European Community member states including:

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, United Kingdom

 

WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE MARK?

This is a Trade Mark registered with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) under an International agreement, the Madrid Protocol. It enables applicants/ owners of trademark applications/registrations of a particular country to extend protection to their marks to other member countries. There are currently 66 signatories to this agreement.

Both a UK national mark and a CTM are members of WIPO and can be used to apply for registration in other countries. India is not a member of the Protocol.

Filing an International Trade Mark simplifies the process of registering a trademark in multiple countries by circumventing the need to file application in each individual country.

It is possible to set up an application by designating one country and then adding another country to your list at a later date. It also makes such registrations easier to maintain as only one application will be needed when it comes to renewal.

 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REGISTER A TRADE MARK?

Length of registration is dependent on the amount of work but as a rule one can work on the following basis.

 UK:  5 – 8 mths.                       EC:  12 – 18 mths.                    International:  18 – 24 mths.        

 Once registered a Trade Mark continues indefinitely, on the payment of a renewal fee every 10 years, provided that it does not remain unused for a continuous period of 5 years and a renewal fee is paid every tenth anniversary of the filing date

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Now that you are familiar with the Trade Mark process it is recommended that you use the services of one of the many specialist Trade Mark agents. They will advise you and handle the entire process of your behalf

This and other Business Guides on a variety of topics relevant to running a SME business can be found at www.acumenconsulting.biz/business-guides.htm

This article was first published on July 2009 and may not necessarily match current events or current opinions and views of Acumen Consulting Ltd. The information contained in this article is intended as a guide.

 

APPENDIX 1    

TRADE MARK CLASSIFICATION LIST

Registration of Goods

Class 1.  Chemical products used in industry, science and agriculture
Class 2.  Paints, colorants and preparations used for protection against corrosion.
Class 3.  Cleaning preparations and toilet preparations.
Class 4.  Industrial oils and greases, fuels and illuminants.
Class 5.  Pharmaceutical and other preparations for medical purposes.
Class 6.  Common metals as well as simple products made from them.
Class 7.  Machines, machine tools, motors and engines.
Class 8.  Hand-operated implements used as tools in the respective professions.
Class 9.  Technological apparatus.
Class 10. Medical apparatus, instruments and articles.
Class 11. Apparatus for lighting, heating, steam generating, cooking, refrigerating.
Class 12. Vehicles and apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water.
Class 13. Firearms, projectiles and explosives, ammunition and fireworks
Class 14. Precious metals, goods in precious metals and precious stones
Class 15. Musical instruments.
Class 16. Paper, goods made from paper and office requisites.
Class 17. Rubber, gum, asbestos, insulating materials and non metal flexible pipes
Class 18. Leather, leather imitations and travel goods not included in other classes.
Class 19. Non-metallic building materials.
Class 20. Furniture and its parts and plastic goods not included in other classes.
Class 21. Hand-operated utensils and apparatus for household and kitchen use as well as toilet utensils, glassware and articles in porcelain.
Class 22. Rope and sail manufacture products, padding, net and string.
Class 23. Yarns and threads for textile use.
Class 24. Textiles (piece goods) and textile covers for household use.
Class 25. Clothing footwear and headgear.
Class 26. Dressmakers\\\' articles.
Class 27. Products intended to be added as furnishings to previously constructed floors and walls.
Class 28. Games and playthings.
Class 29. Meat, vegetables and other horticultural comestible products
Class 30. Foods of plant origin prepared for consumption or conservation
Class 31. Land products not having been subjected to any form of preparation for consumption.
Class 32. Non-alcoholic beverages, as well as beer.
Class 33. Alcoholic beverages (except beer).
Class 34. Tobacco smokers\\\' articles matches.

Registration of Services

Class 35. Business management and business administration.
Class 36. Insurance and financial services.
Class 37. Building construction services.
Class 38. Communication services.
Class 39. Transport services.
Class 40. The treatment of materials.
Class 41. Education, training, sports and entertainment.
Class 42. Scientific and technological services.
Class 43. Catering an temporary accommodation services.
Class 44. Medical services
Class 45. Personal and social services.


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