A trademark is any sign that is recognisable and can be expressed by writing or drawing, such as words, numbers, figures, even colours, sounds, smells, and such. Having a "distinctiveness" is a prerequisite for registering a trademark in the United Kingdom. On the basis of the "first-come-first-served" principle, if any trademark is the same as or similar to one already registered and the goods or services are also the same or similar to each other, the application for registration will be rejected.
In the UK, both registered and unregistered trademarks are protected by law. The difference between the two is that the registered trademark is protected by both statutory and common law, whereas the unregistered trade mark is protected only by common law.
Advantages of Registered Trademarks
When a registered trademark is used without permission, the trademark owners do not need to prove that they have sufficient goodwill before they can prosecute. However, if an unregistered trademark is used without permission, the burden of proof is heavier and the trademark owner must first be able to prove that his goods or trade name have a certain reputation in the public before he can claim the common law offence of counterfeiting.
Trademarks are valid for an unlimited period – Once a trademark is registered, it is valid for ten years and can be renewed indefinitely.
Copyright protection covers the protection of literature, music, works of art, sound recordings, films, radio, web content, data, publishing typesetting etc. Creators of copyright content have both economic and moral rights to their content.
Christine Lee & Co can act as your agent for copyright licensing, transfer, due diligence, copyright protection and dispute resolution, as well as copyright law related to listed investments and mergers and acquisitions.
The design of something carries characteristics that are covered under both patent and copyright law. Due to this overlap, the United Kingdom has developed laws relating specifically to design rights, taking aspects of both patent and copyright law to cover the protection of designs.
Our team of solicitors have extensive professional knowledge and years of experience dealing with intellectual property issues. We are on hand to help you with your intellectual property needs.