Trademark protection in the United Kingdom must be obtained by registering through the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) directly.
The United Kingdom is a “first-to-file” jurisdiction. The rights to a trademark are granted to the first person to file it, not the first person to use it. Exceptions to this rule exist as in the case of well known trademarks or trademarks filed in bad faith.
Trademark rights are only granted if the trademark is effectively registered.
Foreign entities and persons can be trademark owners in the United Kingdom. Foreign holders of trademarks will need to be represented by a trademark attorney or law firm of the United Kingdom.
A registered trademark in the United Kingdom will be valid in all its territory. This includes England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).
Trademarks registered in the European Union after the January 1st 2021 are no longer valid in the United Kingdom.
Trademarks that were registered in the European Union prior to BREXIT are protected in the UK. In this case the trademarks are granted a comparable trademark by the UK trademark office. The comparable trademarks are independent to the EU trademarks. Any change to this trademark will have to be processed directly through IPO UK.
Carrying out a trademark search in UK before proceeding is recommended. Our search services are carried out by UK trademark specialists. Our attorneys will check if there are any similar marks for the goods or services included in the trademark.
Our search does not only consider results that appear in the United Kingdom trademark database.
A trademark will be refused if it includes the image of a crown or images of members of the Royal family. Other reasons for refusal exist and will be considered by our trademark experts when conducting the trademark search.
Our trademark search includes a full analysis of the trademark. Trademark analysis is done in the same way it would be carried out by an examiner of the UK IPO. Our search reports also include recommendations on how to increase the chance of success for your trademark application.
Knowing the real chances your trademark has of being registered allows you to make better decisions. It is beneficial to know beforehand if it is worth proceeding with the trademark filing in the United Kingdom.
Having complete knowledge of the chances of registration may allow you to negotiate coexistent agreements beforehand. In some cases acquiring third parties trademarks or even rebranding may be necessary. In any case, information is crucial.
The registration process in the United Kingdom is one of the fastest in the world. The average registration process takes approximately 3 months to complete.
It is not necessary for trade marks to be used in the United Kingdom in order to file it. Use is not a requirement for a mark to be accepted and registered. Previous use of the trademark may be useful to overcome objections raised on the grounds of lack of distinctiveness.
A trademark application in the United Kingdom will be examined by the Intellectual Property Office. During the examination process the office will carry out a UK IPO trademark search. Trademark objection may be received for reasons other than the existence of previous trademarks. If no objections are raised the application will be published in the United Kingdom trademark journal.
After a trademark is published there is a 2 month period for third parties to present opposition actions. The 2 month period for trademark opposition may be extended to 3 months.
Filing a trademark directly through the trademark office of the United Kingdom is not the only way to achieve trademark registration. Registration of a trademark may also be done through the international registration system. Use of the international trademark system is possible because the United Kingdom is a member state to the Madrid Protocol.
Once the registration process is complete a trademark certificate will be issued. The trademark certificate for a trademark registration in the UK is digital.
Hard copies of the certificate of registration can be ordered but have additional costs.
If a trademark has not been used for 5 years after registration it may be subject to trademark cancellation actions.
A trademark is registered for an initial period of 10 years starting from the date of filing of the application. The trademark can be renewed for further periods of 10 years. The renewal request can be filed starting 6 months before the expiration date, and until 6 months after the expiration date. In case the renewal is filed after the expiration date, extra costs will apply.
If a trademark is not renewed before the period ending 6 months after its expiration period it will automatically lapse. If this happens in order to protect trademarks in UK new mark applications will need to be filed.
All government fees in the United Kingdom must be paid in pound sterling. Our services include all government, official and attorney fees. Our trademark fees for the United Kingdom may be paid in USD, EUR or GDP. Our clients will always be quoted a fixed amount for services in the UK before we proceed.