A trademark is a phrase, word, design, symbol or a combination of phrases, words, designs, or symbols that identifies the source of goods/services of one party from that of another party. With trademark registration, you obtain the exclusive right to use the mark in connection with your goods and services. After trademark registration it can take 1to 9 months for your trademark application to be processed. Occasionally, there are third party objections or objections from the Registry, which can cause it to take longer. Your protection will date back to your application date. Anyone illegally using your name since the application date will have infringed on your rights and will be liable for damages. Where to Register Your UK Trademark If your business is conducted in the UK, you will file your application for trademark registration at the UK Patent Office. If you want to protect your name in other parts of the European Union, you will want to file a Community Trade Mark application at the Community Trade Mark Office. This is a wise move because of the free movement of goods and services within the European Union. One application can cover up to 172 countries. Complete a Trademark Registration Application – You must complete a full application including your correct name, address, and a listing of the goods/ services. – Include the fee you pay at the beginning covers the preparation and filing of the application and application fees due. This does not include the cost for Registry correspondence or any hearings. – You must include a drawing of the trademark you are registering. File In All Relevant Classes When you file your trademark registration application, you should file in all relevant classes to ensure you are covered for all the different products/services you are currently providing. This is the only way you can ensure you are protected otherwise someone else may register it for a different type of product/service. Trademark Registration Renewal Your trademark registration is valid for 10 years and can then be renewed for another 10-year period. If you have not paid your renewal fee by the time the next renewal date arrives you trademark will expire. You are given a 6-month extension to renew but must pay a late fee. You are then given another 6-month extension for a total of up to a full year after the renewal date to restore your trademark before it completely expires. Your Protection From Trademark Registration When you take the time for trademark registration, you don’t have to worry about infringing on someone else’s trademark. And once your trademark is registered, you are protected. If another party infringes on your trademark you have the right to sue the at fault party in court for damages and compensation. Every year new products or new businesses launch without first doing a trademark search leading to a catastrophic outcome.