As they say, we live in interesting times and above all else during this covid-19 pandemic, keeping safe and well is the most important.

In the meantime we thought that it would be useful to put together a handy checklist for business owners to use to ensure that your trade marks are in perfect order. If not, now might be a good time to do a bit of housekeeping. The good news is that most of these may be done for free or at relatively low cost.

  1. Are you displaying the ®

    symbol beside your trade mark?

A surprising number of trade mark owners don’t do it. It’s a privilege to be able to use it and serves as a good reminder to potential infringers that you guard your trade mark.
  1. Is the address for your trade mark, on file at the UK IPO/ EUIPO, up to date with your current business address?

It’s quite common for the trade mark to get forgotten about when it comes to keeping up with company address changes. So what is the problem? If you don’t have a representative on record for your marks, any correspondence needs to go direct to you, the owner.

Important correspondence can easily be missed e.g. if the IPO needs to tell you about a new trade mark application that you wish to object to, you won’t hear about it if the mail goes to the wrong address.

  1. Is the trade mark in the correct ownership?

This one is vital.

If you have changed your company name, your trade mark records at the IPO need to be updated accordingly.

Or perhaps the trade marks were filed in your personal name but you now trade under a limited company.
If so the trade marks must to be assigned so that the company owns them. If you need to enforce your trade mark against an infringer you don’t want to be delayed by a month or more while the UKIPO records the transfer.

  1. Do you have a trade mark watching/alert service in place?

If you are serious about policing your trade mark this essential service alerts you to new trade mark applications that you would much prefer are not registered. We use this on all of our own trade marks, to preserve our monopoly.
  1. Do your trade marks fully cover your business as it stands today?

It is very common when a business grows that new products and services are added that aren’t specified under the original trade mark. Equally you may have rebranded and the old logo trade mark registrations no longer match what you use today.
If you are faced with an infringement problem whilst relying on trade marks that aren’t up to date your rights as registered may not be sufficient to overcome the issue.
A simple trade mark audit would pick this up. The remedy may be to apply for a new trade mark or two to pull in new services/ products, or to cover updated branding.
  1. Following on from the above, do you use any trade marks that are unregistered?

If so maybe you should think about registering them now. As covered elsewhere, registered trade mark rights are much stronger than unregistered ‘passing off rights’.

We hope you found this useful. If you would like more information on any of the points here please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing: or call us on 01284 619000 and we will be happy to answer your questions.