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Trademarking – protect your brand

Mark Tomkins

Because we live in a world where branding is the initial, and in many cases, the first and only impression of a company’s products, making sure that your brand image is protected is vital.

At Aubergine, whether it’s a brand that we created for your business or one that you already have, we can manage the process of getting your logo and branding trademarked in the UK and worldwide.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is the legal acknowledgement by the IPO (intellectual property office) of the country in which you operate that your brand and/or logo is protected and that its name and style are unique to you. This mark, once awarded provides you with legal right to pursue any copying of your mark through the Courts. Without it, it is virtually impossible to enforce.

Once awarded, provided that it doesn’t change in its design, a trademark has a life of 10 years upon which you will be invited to renew it for a further 10 years.

The correct symbol to use once your logo or mark is awarded is the ® symbol. Very often, the © or ™ symbols are used – which for the UK, are incorrect.

What if I want to get my logo or brand protected across the world?

To do this, an application for the trademark needs to be applied for through the WIPO Madrid System – Worldwide Intellectual Property Office. This system allows us to present a mark through groups of countries. Applying for a mark that is for worldwide protection can become expensive as the fees are charged for each country. However, you can choose individual countries if you feel that you will not be doing business in, say, Afghanistan, there is little point in applying for a mark for that country.

How long does it take to get a trademark?

As a rule, and as long as the application is not contested by anyone, a trademark takes just about 4 months to be awarded – 3 months of that are where the mark is displayed in the public domain inviting opposition to its application.

What do I get when I have a trademark?

When you trademark is awarded, you will be given a certificate, issued by the country of application (whether it’s the UK or through WIPO). This certificate must be kept safe as it cannot be re-issued.

More importantly, it means that you can now display your logo or brand with the ® symbol incorporated into it.

If you would like to know more information about getting your logo or brand trademarked, call us now on 01442 262840 or email [email protected].