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How to Trademark a Name in the UK

Written by, Bojana Atanasovska

Updated April, 17, 2022

If you’re a business owner in the UK, you’ll want to trademark your name to protect your brand from theft and misuse.

To learn how to trademark a name in the UK, what it means for your business, and what happens after registration, read on.

How Does Trademarking Work in the UK?

Trademarking a business name is a simple but important process for any business that wants to establish a brand and protect its name legally. 

However, applying for a trademark doesn’t mean that you will get one.

Under UK laws, businesses aren’t allowed to trademark a business name that is too broad, or descriptive. For example, you can’t trademark the phrase “window cleaner” if you’re a window cleaning service or the phrase “We lead the way.” You also can’t trademark a name or brand that’s too similar to another brand name or logo.

For that reason, it’s important to check whether there are any existing or similar trademarks before sending in your application. The best way to do this is by using the UKIPO’s trademark database. 

How to Register a Trademark in the UK

The registration process can take up to 4 months. To register a trademark name, you need to:

  1. Make sure your brand qualifies for a trademark

Your name and logo should be as unique as possible. The most common objection to trademarks deals with the similarity of an application to an existing trademark.

A trademark name,

✅Must be unique.
✅Must be distinguishable.
✅Can use a combination of letters, numbers, words, sounds, or pictures.
❌Can’t be offensive/misleading.
❌Can’t describe the goods/services that your company provides.
❌Can’t be too common or look too similar to state symbols(ex. flags)
  1. Send an application to register your trademark

Once you have decided on a name and logo, you can send an application to the UK Intellectual Property Office, online or by mail.

Within 2 weeks, you’ll receive a report, informing you of the status of the application. Your application will also be published in the “Trade Marks Journal” for 2 months. 

During this time, anyone can object to your application, including a business with a similar brand or name that doesn’t have a registered trademark. 

  1. Deal with trademark objections

There are mainly two ways to deal with objections to your trademark application from the UK Intellectual Property Office.

If the objection is based on the similarity of your trademark to another brand, you can make slight changes to make yours more unique.

If that’s not the case, you can try to negotiate with the person who made the objection. If they have an existing trademark that’s similar to yours, you can ask them to give permission. 

Finally, if you’re unable to overcome the objection or reach an agreement with the person who made the objection, you can file an appeal with the UKIPO. This is a complex process, so you may want to seek advice from a trademark attorney.

A trademark application can’t be completed until all objections are resolved; however, if you settle all objections ⎯ sooner rather than later ⎯ your brand will be registered within 2 weeks.

Costs of Trademarking a Name

The most cost-effective way to register a trademark is online. One class of trademark registration costs £170, and each additional class costs £50. Postal applications cost £200 initially and £50 for each additional class.

You can also try the UKIPO’s online “Right Start” programme to check if the application complies with the rules. It costs £200 (half of which you pay upfront) for the first and an extra £50 (£25 upfront) for each additional class. 

What Happens After Trademarks Registration?

After a trademark is registered, the owner has exclusive rights to use it in connection with the goods and services specified in the registration. 

The trademark means you can use the ® symbol next to your brand name to show that it’s yours, sell or licence your brand to other companies, and take legal action against anyone that uses your brand without your permission.

This may involve sending a cease and desist letter, filing a lawsuit, or seeking an injunction from a court.

The trademark is valid for 10 years and can be renewed for an additional 10-year period. In order to keep the registration active, it must be renewed within 6 months of the expiration date.

If you’re considering registering a trademark, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken to protect your rights.

Bottom Line

If you’re wondering how to trademark a name in the UK, the process is relatively simple, but there are some rules to follow. Your name and brand have to be unique if you want your application to avoid dancing objections and get approved.

Once your trademark is registered, you’ll get exclusive rights for up to 10 years and the means to make sure nobody else uses it. 

Bojana is my name and writing is my game. I am a content writer from Bitola who is always interested in the latest research in almost all areas of life. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and a perfectionist character, both of which help me find the most accurate data and information available. Although I have my head stuck in studies and reports most of the time, I still have a bit of free time during which I enjoy knitting and watching classic 90’s Disney movies.