Application to register a UK trade mark
Application to register a UK trade mark

The following IP guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Application to register a UK trade mark
  • Searches before making an application
  • The application process
  • Application for registration
  • Application fee
  • Filing date
  • Claiming priority
  • Classification of goods and services
  • Search and examination
  • Is the mark a trade mark?
  • more

The registration of a trade mark gives the owner the exclusive right to prevent others from using that mark without their consent. It is important that any individual or company wishing to use a name or brand in respect of particular goods or services applies to register that mark to benefit from maximum protection. (Seeking protection through the common law tort of passing off for unregistered marks is dealt with in Practice Note: Introduction to passing off).

The Trade Marks Act 1994 (TMA 1994) sets out the requirements for registration of a UK trade mark. Provided that the statutory requirements of an application are met, any person can apply to the Registrar of trade marks at the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to register a trade mark. All procedure in the Trade Marks Registry is governed by the Trade Marks Rules 2008, SI 2008/1797.Trade Marks Act 1994Trade Marks Rules 2008, SI 2008/1797

For more information about the legislation underpinning the UK trade mark regime, see Practice Note: UK and EU trade mark legislation.

Anyone wanting to use a trade mark in countries other than the UK can apply for registration directly to the trade mark office in each country. Alternatively, there is a single application system for an international trade mark (for certain countries throughout the world) or an EU trade mark (EUTM) (for protection in Europe). These are dealt with in Practice Notes: Madrid international trade mark system and EU trade mark registration—searches and application.

Trade mark attorneys or solicitors normally prepare applications but members of the public can apply themselves. There is little scope, however, for amending an application once it has