A trade mark is a sign that distinguishes your business’ goods or services from those of other businesses. The words 'trade mark' and 'brand' are interchangeable.
Please note that the registration of a trade mark is entirely voluntary. People choose to register their trade marks in order to benefit from the advantages offered by registration, rather than out of obligation.
The following, or any combination of the following, can constitute a trademark:
- Internet domain names
- Shape of goods
- Packaging of goods
- Moving digital images
The following may also constitute a trademark, although successful registration can be problematic:
Trade Mark are registered against the categories of goods and services specified in the application process. There are 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services. It is possible for the same trade mark to be registered by different people in respect of different goods and services (although you should exercise caution and seek advice in this circumstance).In order to gain the protection of registration, a trade mark must:
be in use in relation to the relevant goods and services in respect of which it is being registered, or there must be an intention to use the trade mark in relation to such goods or services;
be capable of being represented graphically;
be capable of distinguishing your goods or services;
not merely be descriptive of the characteristics of the goods or services, such as kind, quantity, quality, purpose, value or origin;
not consist exclusively of signs or indications which are customary in the current language or in the trade process;
not look or sound the same, or be confusingly similar to an existing trade mark that is registered against the same or similar types of goods or services, or in some cases any type of goods or services (unless you have the owner of the relevant trade mark's permission); and
not be applied for in bad faith, offensive, deceptive or against the law.
When choosing or designing your trade mark you should bear in mind:
invented words (eg Spotify) and words which have no connection with the goods or services they represent (eg Mars) have the best chance of being accepted; and
adding a distinctive logo or picture to your trade mark can make the mark registerable if it is otherwise unregisterable.
Register your interest
Click the 'MAKE ENQUIRY' button to learn more about our Trade Mark Registration Service or to register your interest.