Common questions about trade marking

In this article we will be looking at some of the most common questions about Trade Marking. The most common being cost, use of the TM symbol, and how long a trade mark lasts.

How much does it cost and how long does it last?

A registered trade mark can cost as little as £470. A registered trade mark will last for ten years before renewal fees are due. However, once it’s registered you cannot increase the scope – so if you currently only sell toys but are harbouring a desire to expand to other areas, then it’s worth applying for those classes, otherwise you will have to start and fund a second application from scratch.

Can I use the TM symbol?

While your business name and logo are unregistered, you can put the TM symbol for an unregistered trade mark next to the words and logo. You can also use the copyright symbol and put that next to your business logo.
Note, that is it is a criminal offence to use the registered trade mark symbol “R” next to a word or logo that is not registered. Using the registered trade mark symbol will warn competitors that your mark is registered and also make them less likely to challenge it.

Can two companies hold the same name?

Two different companies can hold the same name. Trade marks are registered by class. These classes are essentially categories and your business name and logo would be registered in the relevant categories.

Another business could have the same business name if that business was listed in different categories and did not venture in to trading in the same category as your business. For example if your business sold gift cards and giftware. Another business with the same name could happily sell party cloths but could not start selling gift cards.

Does Companies House registration provide trade mark protection?

Registering your company name at Companies House does not provide trade mark protection. It only registers your compnany and business.

Does registering a domain name provide trade mark protection?

Registering a domain name such as your business name does not provide any trade mark protection.