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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

ATAHK Trademark Agency (UK) has details on UK Trademark Registration Procedure, Address, Advantages, Uses as well as UK Patent Registration, UK Copyright Application, UK Brand Operation, etc. Also, we provide more specific instructions to register an UK Trademark, with ATA's assistance, eventually find a way to business success in UK…
1)What is a trademark and why register?

A trademark is any sign which can distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of another. A sign includes, for example, words, logos, pictures, or a combination of these.
Basically, a trade mark is a badge of origin, used so that customers can recognize the product of a particular trader.

Like all businesses, you invest a great deal of time and money in developing and marketing a product or service.  You naturally wish the public to recognise that product or services as yours and yours alone.  By using a trade mark - an exclusive way of identifying your own product or services - you can build up loyalty among your customers. 
A trade mark assures consumers that the product or service you're selling is in fact yours: it raises awareness and enables brand extension into other products or markets.  It identifies your goods and differentiates them from others.  It avoids confusion and stops others copying your product. 
There is an extraordinary range of trade marks which can be registered including words, logos, jingles, colours, smells, shapes, gestures, sounds, combinations of letters, numbers, forms of packaging and personal names.

The more you focus the use of your mark and the longer you use to identify your goods and services, the stronger and more valuable it becomes.  Some brands are priceless: COKE, LEGO, SHELL.  These, and others like them, have all become so famous that they are more than just their names - probably some very familiar images came up while you were reading this paragraph.

But unti it is registered, a mark might not belong to you.  If someone else gets the mark registered first, you may have to withdraw all your products, redesign all your packaging, draw up a new publicity campaign, pay compensation and/or buy a licence from the registered owners.  It is therefore crucial to register and use your mark correctly, so that it can become a key intellectual property asset. 

2)How to Apply for a Trade Mark
Search and Advisory
Once you have applied for a trademark, you cannot alter it and your application fee cannot be refunded. Using Search and Advisory Service could save you the expense of making an application which has little or no chance of being accepted for registration.
The UK Patent Office offers a high-quality, value-for-money service to meet the needs of you. It can provide advice on whether your mark meets the requirements for registration.
Please make sure you give us:
?full details of your mark and the goods or services you are interested in;
?your full postal address and daytime phone number.

3) What is needed?
1). Instruction Letter
2) Name ,address and Nationality(or coutry of incorporation) of the applicant
3). Provide an illustration of your trade mark, which may be a word, logo, picture or a combination of these, in the box.
4) If you are claiming priority from an earlier application made in a country which has signed the Paris Convention (for the Protection of Industrial Property) for any of the goods or services in your application, give details in this section.  You can only make a priority claim within six months of the first application.
5). List all the goods or services you trade in, or intend to trade in, using the mark you are applying for.
6). Your reference. You don’t have to provide one, but if you do we will use it whenever we contact you.

4)What is a copayright?
COPYRIGHT: Copyright is a form of intellectual property. Copyright protects creative output such as books, poems, pictures, drawings, music, films, etc. Any work which can be recorded in some way can be protected by copyright, as long as it is original and of sufficient length. Copyright does not cover short phrases or names.

5) What are Classifications?
When applying to register a trademark you must provide us with a list of all goods and/or services which the mark will be used for. The goods and/or services fall into specific classes.
The following list of classes give a basic description about the types of goods and services which belong to each class. This list is not definitive, it is merely a guide to determine which classes are needed for registration.

6) What is a Community trademark ('CTM')?
A CTM provides protection for a mark in all 27 EC member states including:
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, United Kingdom.

7) What is an International trademark?
This is a trademark registered with the World Intellectual Property Organisation under an International agreement, the Madrid Protocol. This enables applicants/ owners of trademark applications/registrations of a particular country to extend protection to their marks to other member countries. There are currently 66 signatories to this agreement.
Both a UK national mark and a CTM are members of WIPO and can be used to apply for registration in other countries.

8) What is the advantage of filing an International trademark?
It greatly simplifies the process of registering a trademark in multiple countries by circumventing the need to file application in each individual country.
It is possible to set up an application by designating one country and then adding another country to your list at a later date.
It also makes such registrations easier to maintain as only one application will be needed when it comes to renewal.

9)How long does my trademark last? How do I renew it?
What are the renewal fees?Once registered a trademark can continue indefinitely, on the payment of a renewal fee every 10 years, provided that it does not remain unused for a continuous period of 5 years and a renewal fee is paid every tenth anniversary of the filing date.

10)Can I lose my trademark?
It is possible for third parties to apply to revoke or invalidate a registered mark.
In the UK and EU a trademark can be revoked if the owner fails to use the mark, either itself or through a licensee, for a continuous period of 5 years. Other reasons include the mark has become a common term in the trade in question or the use made of it has lead to a possibility of misleading the public.
Third parties can apply to have a mark invalidated if they can show that the mark should have been refused under the absolute or relative grounds for refusal.

11) What is the difference between the TM and ? symbols?
When can I use them?The TM symbol merely indicates that you view the mark as your trademark and as such can be used on either an unregistered or a registered mark.
The ? symbol specifically indicates that the mark to which it is affixed is registered. Consequently it is an offence to use it unless you are in receipt of the certificate for the trademark.

From: Editor:cindy Time:2009-4-17
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