FAQS

We get asked a lot of questions, so here are the answers to the more popular ones.

Popular Questions

Your trade mark must be unique. It can include:

  • words
  • sounds
  • logos
  • colours
  • a combination of any of these


  • Your trade mark cannot:

  • be offensive, for example contain swear words or pornographic images
  • describe the goods or services it will relate to, for example the word ‘cotton’ cannot be a trade mark for a cotton textile company
  • be misleading, for example use the word ‘organic’ for goods that are not organic
  • be a 3-dimensional shape associated with your trade mark, for example the shape of an egg for eggs
  • be too common and non-distinctive, for example be a simple statement like ‘we lead the way'
  • look too similar to state symbols like flags or hallmarks
  • For UK trademark applications that do not encounter objections or oppositions, the process will not usually take more than about 4-6 months.

    If there are official objections, or oppositions from third parties, then the process can take much longer. Importantly, protection will date back to the filing date of your application and anyone who has been using your mark illegally since that date will have been infringing your rights and may be liable to you in damages.

    Both UK and EU trademark registrations are valid for ten years. Registrations can be renewed for further ten-year periods on the payment of a renewal fee.

    Yes. A trademark is similar to other property you may own. It may become very valuable and you can sell it (known as an assignment) if you wish. We can advise you on the legal requirements.

    There is no requirement for you to identify your trade mark as registered. The TM symbol merely indicates that you view the particular sign as your trade mark. It can be used on either an unregistered or a registered mark. You can use the ® symbol or the abbreviation "RTM" (for Registered Trade Mark) to show that your trademark is registered. You should be aware that it is an offence to indicate that a trademark is registered when it is not.

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