Trade Mark Invalidity Proceedings

Even though you have registered your trade mark

it may be possible for it to be removed as a result of a competitor filing an invalidation action against it.

There are two main ways in which a trade mark may be declared invalid, namely, absolute and relative grounds. With absolute grounds, the trade mark can be cancelled as the mark was descriptive of the goods and services which it covers, when it was initially registered. As for relative grounds, this applies when the trade mark conflicted with an earlier right which already existed when the application was going through the registration procedure.

Of course, you would expect that these issues would have been found at the application stage, but that’s not always the case. They may well only be identified after your mark has been registered. It could be the case that an owner of an earlier right might not have been made aware of your application until after it was registered. If this was the case, the only way to remove your trade mark would be to invalidate your registration.
If you have received an application for invalidity of your trade mark, get in touch, and we’ll help you find a resolution. Sometimes it is possible to settle a conflict without losing the trade mark entirely; if agreed with the party invalidating your trade mark, you can limit your registration by removing certain goods or services from the specification.

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How can I invalidate a trade mark?

There are certain growing industries where demand for pertinent trade marks can be high, for example vegan food, and various CBD products. It could be that you know a competitor’s registered trade mark was a descriptive term or generic term when it was registered, and that this was not picked up by the Intellectual Property Office when they examined the application. Alternatively, you may have had an earlier right which could have formed the basis of a successful opposition, but you missed the opposition deadline for the application. In both instances, you can do something about it by applying to invalidate the trade mark once it has been registered.

It is also possible to invalidate a registration for certain specific goods or services, rather than all the classes covered by the registration. You should also bear in mind that if you are applying to invalidate a registration on the basis of an earlier right, you can only do this if you own the relevant right, or if you are a licensee of that trade mark.

Ward Trade Marks can help you with an opinion on the likely success of your invalidation action before it is filed, ensuring that you direct your resources towards only invalidating those marks which are real problems for you, and that any invalidation action is likely to work.

Trade Mark Reviews

One of the greatest assets of any brand is it’s IP. Working with Rachael is a joy – her professional insight, experience and clear (no jargon) communication enables you to make informed decisions about how and where you protect your brand. Whatever stage of business/brand development you are currently at, I’d recommend speaking with Rachael, to find out what you can protect and the best ways to achieve a robust solution, that’s fit for purpose.

Andy Boothman, Dress Code Shirts

Extremely happy with the professional service provided by Ward Trade Marks in obtaining our trade mark. Their advice and support made the process stress free and I would not hesitate to recommend them to others.

Daniel Compton, Owner at Armadillo Sec Limited

Rachael is extremely personable and professional. She has handled all of our trade marking adventures over the last few years with success and efficiency. Highly recommended.  

Mark Read, Managing Partner, Three Pillars Business Park

Rachael worked with my daughter and me to trade mark our company name, Arya Candles. She is a true professional and a delight to work with. Highly knowledgeable and nothing was ever too much trouble.

Lina Hogg, Co-Founder & Director, Arya Candles

Rachael Ward provided us with excellent service over a period of over 3 years (2014-2017). Rachael is a very practical and pragmatic trade mark attorney: she gets quickly to the heart of a problem and is extremely efficient in her work. She has a good depth of knowledge about trade mark law, but never allows this to get in the way of clear-sighted, practical advice. I would strongly recommend any business to use Rachael Ward and Ward Trade Mark Services on trade mark issues.

Duncan Curley, Director, Innovate Legal

As a marketing and design company it has been in the back of my mind since I launched TukTuk Creative Marketing to trademark the brand. There have been a few local companies who have recently had to change their name and branding because another company has objected. I love our company name, and it brings to life what I wanted to do when I started the company – taking brands on an inspiring journey, and what better way than on a TukTuk. To lose the name now or in the future would be crushing. Rachel has been amazing from the start, and I whole heartily trust her to set up the Trademark and follow up with any issues that occur along the way.

Vicky Stanaway, TukTuk Creative Marketing

Rachael is very efficient and productive trademark law expert which helped us to register copyrights for few our brands. She did a good research and gave us useful advices. Their fees are very reasonable. We were happy working with her.

Alex Ukolov, Baba Studio

I approached Rachael after working unsuccessfully with two other trade mark companies. Rachael was a joy to work with. She explained everything very clearly and was very open and upfront with her pricing. I was kept fully updated of the progress of my application. I am pleased to say I have now got my EU trademark, thanks to Rachael.

Cody Gapare, C-Lash

Our initial consultation with Rachael at Ward Trade Marks reinforced our focus regarding our branding and Company marketing for the future. Once BoMoJo was officially registered and published it enabled us to apply and acquire @BoMoJo as a Twitter username from an account that had been dormant for over 6 years. Twitter processed our request, swiftly and promptly and all was completed within a week, transferring our followers from @BoMoJoProd to @BoMoJo. Quite simply a first-class service is what you can expect from Rachael, who is extremely efficient, using her experience, knowledge and expertise to deliver your Trade Mark requirements. Rachael is thorough and precise. Cristina and Barry have absolutely no hesitation in highly recommending Ward Trade Marks.

Barry Burns, Founder and Creative Director, BoMoJo

Having been recommended to us by a trusted friend, we engaged Rachael to acquire a trade mark for our new venture, and thank goodness we did. What we thought would be a simple application, met with objections from a company in the US, however Rachael’s sound, professional advice, steered us through the negotiations to a successful conclusion, TM approved! I would not hesitate to recommend Rachael to anyone who is not an expert in such matters, (and the bill was very reasonable too!)

Lee Wells, Principal, Ablestoke Financial Group

Rachael was a business partner to Mars trade marks team advising on all product segments. Rachael applies a compelling mix of trade mark and commercial knowledge and experience to her advice. She is a clear communicator and client-focus is always number 1. A true collaborator and pleasure to work with.

Catherine Burge, EMEA Marketing Manager, Mars

As a branding agency, we believe that it’s critical for businesses to make sensible decisions about protecting their entities. We recommend using Ward Trade marks to our clients, as they fully comprehend the minutiae of the whole process and get it done in a fuss free, cost effective way, but most importantly, they make sure your brand assets are fully protected, which can alleviate a lot of potential heartache later on.

Jo Lilford, Director, Run Jump Fly

As a charity The Woodbridge Tide Mill Museum was hesitant to enter the world of trade mark protection for fear of endless paperwork and high costs. We were recommended to speak to Ward Trade Marks and it proved to be good advice. Bill and Rachael provided a fast, well-explained and cost-effective service so that the whole matter was resolved within a couple of months. No stress, no jargon just common sense, knowledge and experience. Highly recommended.

Simon Ballard, Woodbridge Till Mill Museum

Ward Trade Marks were fantastic to deal with, they explained everything in an understandable way which for the layman made it easy to comprehend and have efficiently seen our application through from initial discussion to fruition. As a charity our name means everything and we wanted to protect it.

Gary Hyams, CEO, Support 4 Sight

Friendly, knowledgeable people, who I feel we can trust with all of our Trademark concerns / issues.  The company is available when I need them (answer my queries out of regular hours – not something I can expect but something I really value and appreciate) and I feel ‘goes the extra mile’.

Dawn Dowds, Celebrated Ltd

-Loved your service. I thought the service was very friendly and professional and couldn’t ask for anything more really.

Rob Butterworth, MD, Butterworth & Son

Great attention to detail, good updates right through the process – we were new to the trademarking process, you supported us through the journey.  So from our perspective you fully met our requirement.

Nick Pryke, Precision Marketing Group

The team @ Ward Trade Marks and especially Rachael have been instrumental in supporting and developing the IP @ Crude Coffee. As a new startup business I cannot recommend highly enough the help, guidance and IP strategy that Rachael and the team have created for us. I would not hesitate to recommend them to any other start-ups or established businesses looking to create, develop and protect your IP!

Ben Lion, MD, Crude Coffee

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