UK trade marks are registered through the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), which examines all trade mark applications. Careful, not all trade marks can be registered. The proposed trade mark should not be descriptive of your products and services (if you sell soap your trade mark cannot be “soap” or something that clearly means “soap”). It should also be sufficiently original/distinctive (if your trade mark is “We are the best” customers might not understand this is a trade mark). Also, the mark you choose should not be one that a competitor has already adopted. Other rules apply and a Trade mark Attorney can help you navigate these obstacles.

Once the UKIPO has accepted your trade mark application, it is then published for two months. During that period, any third party that owns prior rights can object to it (something called “an opposition”). You should always conduct searches before registering a new trade mark to reduce the risk of oppositions. A Trade mark Attorney can conduct searches for you to reduce the risk of conflict with third parties.

If your trade mark was filed correctly and is not objected by third parties, it usually proceeds to registration in 3 to 4 months.

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