Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

This post is the first in a series on Trade Marks in intellectual property law. In future posts in this series we will look at:

  1. How to register a Trade Mark
  2. How to commercially exploit a Trade Mark
  3. How to cancel a Trade Mark; and
  4. How to protect your Trade Mark

In this post we will be looking at:

  1. What is a Trade Mark?
  2. What types of Trade Marks are there?
  3. What are the Functions of registered Trade Marks?
  4. What’s the benefit of registering a Trade Mark?

What is a Trade Mark?

The term “Trade Mark” is synonymous with the word brand. It is simply a means of telling the consumer or other businesses “I made this” a badge or indication of the trade origin of goods and services from a particular supplier.

The badge or indication can be any feature of a product or service. It can be the name of the product or service (such as “Fanta”), a slogan (such as “Taste the Rainbow”) or a smell (such as a particular perfume), among other things.

Under the Trade Marks Act 1994 any sign which can be represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of another is prima facie registrable as a Trade Mark (s.1(1) TMA 1994). This should be the standard applied to both types of Trade Mark – registered and unregistered.

What types of Trade Marks are there?

There are two broad “types” of Trade Marks: registered and unregistered Trade Marks. Anyone can attempt to register anything as a Trade Mark. However, only Trade Marks which meet the criteria specified in the Trade Marks Act 1994 are capable of being registered. These are:

  1. It must be a sign
  2. Which can be represented graphically; and
  3. Which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of another; and
  4. Isn’t ineligible as a Trade Mark under either the Absolute or Relative refusal grounds

What are the functions of a Trade Mark?

The functions of a Trade Mark are as follows:

  1. To associate the trade origin of the goods or services with a particular supplier
  2. To indicate the likely quality of the product
  3. To measure the ongoing value of the brand image of particular products to a supplier, or of the supplier as a whole
  4. As a useful and exploitable piece of property

What are the benefits of registering a Trade Mark?

It is probably more prudent to list the disbenefits of not registering a Trade Mark prior to considering the benefits of registering a Trade Mark.

The disadvantages of not registering a Trade Mark are that it is more difficult to commercially exploit the asset and that the only protection available to owners of unregistered Trade Marks is that of the common law offence of “passing off”.  Proving “passing” off can be an extremely complex and time-consuming process.

Registered Trade Marks, on the other hand, have the benefit of utilising statutory and common law actions (respectively, actions for infringement of a registered trade mark under s.10 of the Trade Mark Act 1994 and the common law action of passing off).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.67 Average

66 Reviews

Anonymous

As with All solicitors advice without consequence but understood and communicated my legal position

Posted 6 days ago

Anonymous

Prompt, professional and excellent service.

Posted 1 week ago

Dominic C

Excellent service, prompt and helpful

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

I found Redman’s to be very efficient and got me the best deal available in the short time scale that was available.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Victor L

Very professional. Provided excellent advice on my Settlement agreement.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Professional from start to finish.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Oliver W

Excellent service provided by Redmans, will certainly consider using again.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Melanie H

Very professional and extremely personable service. Thank you very much.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

I found Chris to be very approachable and easy to speak with about complex matters. He took action quickly and his updates to me, as his client, were prompt. I would recommend Chris and the team at Redmans without hesitation.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

Good advice

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

Overall happy with the service provided by Chris and Rana.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

Chris and Rana provide a great service, very informed, diligent and care about your result, would recommend Redmans

Posted 4 weeks ago

David W

A speedy efficient friendly service, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors for processing Settlement Agreements.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

Both Rana and Chris were fantastic. From the first phone call I was confident my matter was in good hands. I was not disappointed. I would highly recommend Redmans. Thank you again for all of your support and advice.

Posted 1 month ago

Federico S

Great advices and communication. Through Redmana I obtained match more than what I thought. Highly recommended

Posted 1 month ago

Tom G

A good and efficient service with the required legal advice provided for a settlement agreement.

Posted 1 month ago

Francis T

The solicitor I used was Chris Hadrill, who I found extremely professional and I felt that he made me feel at ease, considering the subject matter he was assisting me with.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris provided excellent assistance with the negotiation of my settlement agreement. From start to finish, I was consitently updated and advised on the best course of action to take. I would highly recommend Chris and Redmans Solicitors.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

They are busy people but manage well so generally I would recommend them.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Very efficient and professional service from my first phone call making an enquiry. Timescales of the matter in hand were met and within the agreed budget. Would highly recommend Redmans

Posted 1 month ago

Lisa B

Really very good service, always available to answer questions, provide my with any information I needed to make informed decisions.

Posted 1 month ago