Intellectual Property: Trademarks

Trade marks are legal names for brands which guarantee the origin of a product or service. They can be applied to anything that can be represented graphically: Generally this includes: Logos, colours, words, pictures and sounds, or any combination of these.

There are two types of trade marks – registered and unregistered.
You can use a trademark without being registered, however you may not be able to stop a competitor from using the same or similar mark for their goods or services. Unregistered trademarks can be identified with the “TM” suffix.
Registered trademarks protect by preventing others from using the brand name without permission. This protection is limited to the country where the trade mark is registered. These trademarks use the ® symbol.

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Why use Bridle IP?

Bridle IP has worked with individuals and multi-national clients from a diverse array of industries. We can help with all aspects of obtaining a patent, including: drafting original patent applications, writing invention specification, proving merits to the UK Intellectual Property Office. Our patent agents also have significant expertise in post grant issues, such as European opposition and appeal proceedings.

How does the trademark process work?

The process typically takes 4-5 months. There is no guarantee that the trade-mark will be accepted, however you may increase your chances with an experienced trade mark attorney.


The first step is to perform a trade mark availability search

– This is not legally required but recommended.



Trade mark applications are filed with the UK Intellectual Property Office

or EU Intellectual Property Office.



The UKIPO will perform an examination

to determine if the application complies with their formal requirements. The applicant is then given opportunity to respond to any objections. This process can take anywhere up to 2 months.



Once the trade mark has passed the examination phase

it is published in the weekly Trade Mark Journal (UK trademark registration), or the Community Trade Mark Bulletin (European trademark). During this period known as the “opposition phase” existing-rights owners and third parties can challenge the trade mark. This process generally lasts 2 months but can be extended to 3 months during an opposition.



After the opposition phase the trade mark is automatically registered.


Once granted, UK and EU trade marks last for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely to maintain the same protection.

Some grounds for refusal:

  • The trade mark is purely descriptive and includes words such as CHARGE BATTERY for a battery charging device
  • The trade mark contains a common surname or place name
  • The trade mark uses a national flag or other protected symbol
  • The trade mark is a term that is generic and commonly used in the relevant trade.
  • The trade mark must not be deceptive or confusing

How can Bridle IP help me?

01227 712022

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Our intellectual property agents are highly experienced in navigating the process of gaining UK , EU and international trademarks. Our goal is to ensure you have the best chance of receiving your trademark registration. We achieve this through thorough research, analysis and tactical presentation.

Not sure if your brand can be trademarked? Contact us for more information.

Further information about trade and how to obtain them can be obtained by following the relevant links.