Legal advice: Trademark your name

Related tags London solicitors joelson Patent Brand

Safeguard your business name through registration.By Lucy McNamara of's team of legal experts at London solicitors Joelson Wilson.You...

Safeguard your business name through registration.

By Lucy McNamara of's team of legal experts at London solicitors Joelson Wilson.

You have had a moment of inspiration. Having opened your own pub, you are certain the name you have chosen is a sure-fire way of attracting hundreds of customers. But how can you guarantee that no other publican (or anyone else for that matter) is going to steal your name? By registering the name as a trademark you can ensure that no-one else can use that name for their pub or anything else.

A trademark is a brand name which distinguishes your services and products from those of others. The only way to protect your trademark (which can be in the form of words, a logo, pictures or a combination of these) is by registering it with the Trade Mark Registry of the Patent Office. Your trademark will last indefinitely, providing that it retains its ability to be distinguishable from services and goods from others.

Before you run down to the Patent Office to submit your application, there are some boxes which need to be ticked before your creative work can be classified as a trademark.

For example, your trademark must be capable of being described in a written form and, as mentioned, must be capable of being distinguished from those of others.

Once you have got over the hurdle of making sure you have a name worthy of being called a trademark, you then face the nail- biting moment when the Trade Mark Registry chooses whether to object to your application. There could be a variety of reasons for such an objection: if the name you have chosen is descriptive of the services which you wish to provide, for example, the name is likely to be refused - for instance, "The Pub". A geographical name is also unlikely to be accepted, as is a name which is likely to deceive the public or is contrary to public policy or morality.

You may wonder what all the fuss is about. Why on earth should you bother to register your trademark? Here are some examples of why it is such a good idea to register your trading name:

  • If another publican uses your name you could have the right to issue a claim against them for infringement
  • You can register your trademark prior to starting to use it
  • You can prevent others from registering it as a trademark and then issuing a claim against you for infringement.

You can obtain further information via the UK Patent Office website at​.

Related topics Legislation

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