Protecting Your Brand in the UK
Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial, therefore they only give protection in the countries where they are granted or registered.
Registering a trade mark protects your brand.
If you have registered your trade mark you will be able to take legal action against anyone who uses your brand without your permission (this includes counterfeiters), use the ® symbol with your brand to show ownership and deter others from using it, and sell and license your brand in domestic and overseas markets.
To register a trade mark you first need to check if your brand actually qualifies as a trade mark, then submit an application to register your trademark, and finally respond to any objections that are raised. If there are no objections, the registration process takes around four months, and trade mark registration is usually valid for 10 years.
To register a trade mark in the UK, simply go to www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-applying/t-apply.htm and follow the step-by-step instructions.
Last updated November 2023: Steve Crane OBE