NEWS4 December 2023

Trade Mark Top Tips

Venner Shipley patent attorneys, reception area

Top tips from Research Park tenants – Venner Shipley

What makes a good mark?

A good trade mark is memorable, distinctive and immediately identifies your business name. It is not similar to other business names and brands. The more distinctive the brand is, the easier (and less costly) it should be to protect and enforce it.


Think hard about the distinctiveness of your brand at the inception of your business to ensure:

•           it works for you from a marketing angle


•           it can be readily protected and enforced

What can I register

Almost anything including words, logos, slogans, colours, packaging, shapes.

What can’t I register?

Descriptive or generic names, logos, shapes; anything too similar to another brand but if in doubt seek specialist advice on registrability.

The scope of protection is determined by the trade mark specification. It is crucial to get this absolutely right. Seek professional advice to ensure best protection for your business.

Company name and domain name registrations DO NOT achieve brand protection.

No single registration gives worldwide protection but Trade Mark attorneys can advise on the most cost-effective and appropriate route to registration in all jurisdictions.

Check and protect your brand

Your brand is a valuable asset, so check it is safe to use and then protect it.

Trade Mark clearance searches are essential to gauge and minimise business risk.

You should have trade mark clearance searches conducted by a trade mark attorney before committing funds to a brand to ensure you are not exposing your business to costly and disruptive legal disputes.

Why register a trade mark

Protect your brand to safeguard your rights, to stop anyone else from using it without permission and to attract investors.

Costs and timescale (as at September 2023)

Trade mark searching costs are around £1000 (ex VAT) for up to 3 classes (categories) of goods/services. Costs from filing to protection start at £900 (ex VAT but including official fees) and the initial term of protection is 10 years from filing.

The time from filing a trade mark application to registration varies across countries. For the UK, if no objections are encountered, a trade mark can be registered in around four months but timescales should be built into a business strategy.