Trade Marks and Passing Off

We provide a full range of trade mark services in relation to the broader IP area of branding.

Trade marks are signs which identify the origin of goods or services and these can be registered include words, logos, shapes, sounds or even smells.

It is much easier to enforce your rights when others use your trade mark without your permission if the trade mark is registered. An unregistered mark must rely on the common law of passing off and is notoriously onerous to enforce. To obtain a registration, a trade mark must be distinctive for the goods and services that you provide. It must not be deceptive or descriptive. It is registered in different classes of goods or services, depending on how you want to use it. There are 45 different types of classes and these cover all goods and services in trade. A registered trade mark can last indefinitely but must be renewed every 10 years.

Trade marks can be registered on a national level, internationally or on a European basis. A Community Trade Mark gives protection in all 28 European Union countries including the UK. If you trade internationally it is important to look into International Registration. You can sometimes apply for international protection using what is known as the Madrid Protocol. However, not all countries are signed up to this convention and you will have to apply directly to the local registry for these jurisdictions.

Our team of trade mark solicitors help people with a range of help for all your requirements including trade mark infringement, protection, management, enforcement and commercialisation.