Key Requirements For Registering Trademarks In The Uk

An important step to take in protecting your brand and reputation of your business is by registering your trademark. It is imperative for the requirements for a successful trade mark application and registration to be understood in order to avoid setbacks in the application process.

For your trademark registration to be successful, there are key requirements it must fulfil which are;


The uniqueness of a trademark is one of the primary requirements for a trademark in the UK. A trademark should be capable of differentiating the goods or services of one company from others.

If your mark is to be considered to have the capacity to tell apart, you should avoid the following:

  • Simple signs such as single letters, numbers or grammatical signs;
  • Simple colour marks;
  • Get-up and trade dress;
  • Names and signatures;
  • Slogans which are solely descriptive or promotional;
  • Marks which are used widely in the trade or profession; and

Graphical Representation

While applying for a trademark registration, it is crucial that the trademark is capable of being represented graphically. Graphical representation allows the trademark to be represented in various formats, including word marks such as stylized letters or a specific font, logos such as distinctive designs or symbols, colours such as specific colour combinations, shapes such as unique product shapes or packaging, or a combination of all these elements.

Not Fallacious or Cunning

A trademark must not be deceiving or misleading to the end users regarding the nature, quality, or geographical origin of the goods or services it depicts. This requirement ensures that consumers are not misled or confused about the qualities or source of the products or services associated with the mark.

Not Against Public Policy or Morality

A trademark should not be against public policy or morality. With this requirement, any mark that promotes illegal activities, offensive, or against established principles or values will not be registered. Also, marks that contain obscene or offensive language, religious symbols used inappropriately, or controversial political statements are as a rule not registrable.

Not Descriptive or Generic

Your company trademark should not merely describe the goods or services it represents, as trademarks that are descriptive or generic will not be considered for registration.

Although, if a descriptive or generic term acquires uniqueness through extensive use and becomes associated with specific goods or services, it may be registrable. The purpose of trademark is to identify the origin of goods or services, and generic or descriptive terms cannot fulfil this function effectively.

Not A Banned Sign

Certain signs are prohibited from being registered as trade marks in the UK such as;

  • National Flags and Emblems
  • Protected Emblems
  • Geographical Indications
  • Traditional Terms

Registering a Trademark

To commence the registration of your trademark after ensuring that it meets the aforementioned requirements, it is important to carry out a clearance check to make sure there are no existing registered marks which are identical or confusingly similar and could lead to your application being challenged or rejected. The search can be done by searching the UK IPO trade mark registry.

The next step is to commence the registration of the trademark after the clearance check and you decide to go ahead with the brand name and logo.

To register a trade mark in the UK, an application must be filed with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). The application itself contains a number of requirements, including:

  • Clear Representation: The trade mark application should include a clear representation of the mark. This can be in the form of a visual representation, such as a high-quality image or a stylized design, for logo marks. For word marks, the application should specify the words and any specific font or style.
  • Goods and Services Classification: The goods and services to which the trade mark will apply should be categorized according to the appropriate class(es) of the Nice Classification system.


It is considerable to understand that while meeting the requirements mentioned in this post, trademark registration that meets the above requirements has high tendency to be successful. A thorough examination is conducted by the UKIPO to determine if the mark fulfils all necessary criteria.

For more information on how to get your trademark registered in the UK, you can reach out to us for a free consultation as a worldwide trademark registration expert.

We at eLegal Consultants look forward to meeting with you and are ready to journey with you to actualize your dreams. Contact us today.

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