Registration of a trade mark in the United KingdomThe competent authority for registering trade marks is the Intellectual Property Office, based in Newport-South Wales.
A trade mark is a distinctive sign for an undertaking's own products, in possession of the requirements of originality, novelty, veracity and lawfulness. A trade mark serves to distinguish the products of one undertaking from those of competitors and identify the source of a good or service. The proprietor of a trade mark is entitled to rely on it exclusively.
In the United Kingdom, the protection of an unregistered trade mark is fairly complex and requires a court action aimed at demonstrating the use of the mark over time. To prevent registration of a sign by a third party one must apply to register said trade mark before it is enters the English market.
The registration procedure of a trade mark in the United Kingdom consists of three steps:
- subsistence of the legal requirements for trade mark registration;
- filing of an application to register the sign;
- publication of the application on the "Trade Marks Journal”.
- registration of the trade mark.
The average time required to obtain the registration of a sign is approximately 4-6 months, but trade mark protection shall run from the date of filing of the application for registration.Also foreign companies and individuals may apply to register a UK trade mark.
Registrable trade marks may be:
- product marks;
- service marks;
- certification marks (in this case, the owner must not have any direct commercial or industrial interest in connection with the underlying product or service);
- collective marks.