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How to trade mark your IP

No Trespassing! That's my intellectual property!

Branding is all about building the trust for your products or services among your target customers.  There are already many brands in your target market.  So, creating a unique brand that stands out requires you to have branding ideas that are special.

Trademarking your logo will ensure the ultimate security for your brand’s individuality.  Protect against third-party imitation by following this step-by-step guide.

 

1. What do you want to protect?

Firstly, think about what it is you want to protect.  You can trademark your logo, a combination of words, images, phrases, shapes or corporate colours under protection law.  In fact, any unique symbol or design that makes your business unique is eligible for a trademark with the UK Intellectual Property Office.  You can’t simply register a word featuring in the dictionary word, or words, that are generally used to describe the service you are offering.  You must make sure your trademark is distinctive, and not merely descriptive of the product or service that you offer.

2. Don’t infringe on someone else’s trade mark

Trademark infringement may need legal action, even if it’s accidental.  To avoid this, before you decide to trademark your logo, you need to make sure the mark hasn’t been recorded by another company.

There are several different types of valid trademark in the UK.  A trade mark can be a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, sound, shape, signature or any combination of these elements.

3. Do it properly and don’t skip the process

If your mark’s distinctive and you’ve checked the trademark registers to make sure there’s no chance of infringement, then you’re ready to go.

It is possible to trademark your logo yourself online, but the legalities of trademarking can be intricate.  If you start to trademark your logo and later meet an issue, it could cost you more time and money in the long run, than if you’d received advice along the way.

If you choose to use a trademark attorney in the UK, make sure they’re listed by the trade body at the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys

4. File your application to trademark your logo

Once you’re ready to fill out your application, the next step is to decide how wide geographically you want to protect your logo.  There are two options: a UK trademark or a community trademark (which will protect you in all 27 companies of the EU).  The two differ massively in cost and the length of the process.

5. Wait

After your application has been processed, your logo will be fully protected as your intellectual property.  An Application can take around four to five months for a UK mark, or nine to twelve months for a community mark.  You can then use your logo design confident that you’re protected should a third party decide to imitate it.

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