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Differences between an EU trade mark and a UK trade mark

Difference between an EU and UK trade mark in an infographic
From the 23rd of March, there have been changes to the EU trade mark registration process. This post has been updated to reflect those changes.

Trade mark registration is territorial in the sense that you must generally register your brand on a country-by-country basis. For example, a trade mark that is registered in the UK will only provide registered protection within the UK. A business or company which trades in different countries beyond the UK and which wants to secure trade mark registration will generally need to do so in each individual country in which it is actively trading. An important exception is the European Union Trade Mark (“EUTM”) which, with a single filing, provides registered protection across the whole EU territory without the need to apply to register your mark in each individual EU member state.

Deciding between an EUTM and a UK trade mark

If you are actively trading in several EU countries, you could secure registered trade mark protection for all of them in one go if you file an EUTM application. As a rule, the costs of EUTM registration are cheaper than separate national filings in more than two or three EU states. And, of course, upon registration, your mark will enjoy protection across all 28 EU states (or 27 after the departure of the UK from the EU).

If, however, you actively trade under your brand in the UK only then a national UK trade mark registration is probably the best way to go. Financially, it is far cheaper than filing an EUTM application.

The potential downside of EUTMs

Precisely because an EUTM registration protects your brand across the entire territory of the EU, it not possible to exclude one or more EU states from the EUTM application. A consequence of this is that a valid opposition or challenge to your EUTM from an earlier trade mark owner in just one EU state is enough to prevent completely the registration of the EUTM. So, for example, a successful opposition by the holder of a national trade mark registration in Malta (whose population is about 0.01% of the EU total) would prevent you from obtaining EUTM registration, although you could still seek protection at a national EU state level.

Please note also that if your UK or EUTM application should be refused, you will not be able to recover the filing fees which have been paid.

Difference between an EU and UK trade mark in an infographic

The Fees

EUTMs are levied by the EUIPO on a per-class scale. For a single-class application, the EUIPO official fees are eur850. A two-class application will incur official fees of eur900. There is a fee of eur150 for each additional class thereafter.

UK national trade mark fees are also levied on a per-class basis. The UKIPO official fees for a single-class application are £170 and the extra fee for each additional class is £50. Additional official fees may also be payable depending on the type of mark. For example, a series mark will incur an additional fee of £50 for each mark added to the series.

You can calculate the fees for your trade mark by using our trade mark calculator.

Deciding between filing your application in the UK or the EU requires consideration of several factors. It is highly advisable therefore to consult with a trade mark specialist in trade mark law who will be able to give you the best trade mark filing strategy adapted to your needs. Click here to complete our form and one of our trade mark lawyers will contact you to discuss your options.

The Trade Mark Registration Process In The UK – Infographic

A flow chart of the trade mark process in the UK

Trade marks registration can be a complicated process. This is why the entire process can take between 4 to 5 months. There is no guarantee that the trade mark will be registered, but if clear guide lines are followed and a trade mark attorney is involved, your trade mark has a good chance of being filed. A trade mark is in essence your brand. It has to be unique for it to be registered. A registered trade mark gives the owner legal rights to take action against others who use the brand name without permission. Trade mark protection is limited to the country where the trade mark has been registered.

If you trade in the UK only, then you should register a trade mark in the UK. The infographic below shows the trade mark registration process in the UK.

A flow chart of the trade mark process in the UK

The Trade Mark Registration Process In The EU – Infographic (Updated)

Flow chart of the EU trademark
From the 23rd of March, there have been changes to the EU trade mark registration process. This post has been updated to reflect those changes.

The European Union (EU) provides business owners an opportunity to register a trade mark in all the member states of the EU through a EU Trade Mark. The process has some similarities to the UK trade mark registration process. The registration process takes between 5 to 8 months and gives the trade mark owner legal rights to take action against others who use the brand name without permission.

If you trade in the EU, or looking to expand into the EU then you should register a EU trade mark. The infographic below shows the trade mark registration process in the EU.

The EU trademark process displayed in a flow chart.

The Patent Registration Process In The UK – Infographic

A flow chart of the patent registration process in the UK

A patent is used to protect an invention. It gives the owner complete ownership of an invention and the right to take legal action anyone who uses, sells or copies the inventions without permission. The ownership usually lasts for 20 years.

A patent application can take a long time (3 to 4 years) to get registered. There are also conditions which need to be met for a patent to get registered. These conditions are listed as follows:

– the invention should have some new characteristic, which should be verified by industry experts
– the invention should introduce an “inventive step” or a “non-obvious” function, which haven’t been introduced by industry experts before
– the invention must be capable of being used for an industrial or business purpose
– some things are not patentable in the UK for e.g. scientific theories, mathematical methods, discoveries of natural substances, computer programs etc.
– the invention should be described in a clear and complete manner in the application; another technical expert should be able to recreate it using the description

The infographic below shows the process of registering a patent in the UK.

A flow chart of the patent registration process in the UK

 

Whats the difference between copyright, trade marks, patents and registered designs?

Copyright, trade marks, patents and registered designs - whats the difference?

Intellectual Property (“IP”) is essentially a person’s creative work that should be and needs to be protected so that, without your consent, no one else can financially benefit or gain recognition for your work. There are four main types of IP which are listed as follows:

  • Copyright – protection is automatically granted to the author for their original, creative or intellectual work. For example, a novel is protected as an original literary work; a piece of music as an original musical work. It is generally neither necessary nor possible to register your copyright (the United States being an important exception).
  • Trade mark – This is a brand element which distinguishes your goods and services from those of your competitors and other traders. The brand element could be a word mark, a logo mark or a slogan. However, it is possible to register and so protect a whole range of brand features such as shapes, colours, sounds, gestures, animation, holograms, and even store layouts.
  • Patent – this concerns obtaining protection for new inventions.
  • Registered designs – it is possible to register and so protect the visual appearance of a product or part of a product. But, as with trade marks, the scope of designs which can be protected is extremely wide-ranging and so includes not just the appearance of a product such as a toaster but extends also to include design features such as shape, configuration and decoration.
    View the infographic below to see the difference between the four types of intellectual property.Copyright, trade marks, patents and registered designs - whats the difference?