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What Businesses Need Trademark Registration?

04th August 2011
By Robert Fogarty in Business Law
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There is no law that states you need to register your trademark. You can run a business and never do a trademark registration. It is even possible to sue another company if they infringe on your company's name or logo even if that name or logo is not registered. You risk the chance of someone else registering the same trademark as you, however. This could actually result in you being sued for trademark infringement. You really should consider trademark registration to be able to use the name or logo for your company without any risk.

There are many types of businesses in the UK. Some are services while others sell goods. There are different classes for trademarks. In total there are 45 different classes. There are ten for services and 35 for goods. Whatever your business you will find the right class for your business. When you do a trademark registration you will have to have your trademark classified. With a classification system a business can have the same name as another and be allowed if the two businesses are in different classes.

The name of your business can be a trademark. Also a picture or logo can be a trademark. Some businesses use both for their trademark. A trademark will tell people the difference between your business and that of your competitors. When two businesses have the same service or products the names need to be different. If one of the businesses has a trademark registered and the other tries to use that name they can be sued.

Applying for a trademark requires some paperwork to be done. You will apply at the Intellectual Property Office. They have an online site that makes applying quite simple. There are a couple different ways to register. One way will divide your payment into two parts. The other way will give you a break in the price. When you apply, your trademark is approved and then advertised in a trademark journal. There other businesses can read the new trademarks. If they feel that your trademark is too similar to their own or feel there is an infringement, they can oppose the trademark. After publication other companies have two months in which they can oppose the trademark. After two months the registration is complete as long as there is no opposition. The trademark becomes your property.

Trademarks must meet certain guidelines in order to be usable. There are things that a trademark cannot possess. They cannot have any false advertisement as part of the trademark name or logo. That means there can be only truth in the name. They cannot be three dimensional, offensives or advertise illegal drugs. This includes slang for illegal drugs. They cannot be a protected emblem. There are many other reasons you cannot register a trademark. To find out more about trademarks you can visit different sites online. The Intellectual Property Office is a good place to learn more about trademark registration. Remember to make your trademark distinctive. Customers will soon be associating a trademark to your business whatever it may be.
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