Trade marks

Trade marks

Excellent service and legal advice from team specialising in trade marks and intellectual property delivering an amazing client experience for companies in the UK.

Trade marks, logos, brands, trading names - call them what you will, but most businesses will have one or more of them.

They are how we distinguish one person's goods or services from another and depending on how well we do that, it can result in that trade mark being worth millions.

In 2009, for example, the brand value of Heinz was around $7 billion.

It takes time to reach that level, though, but we can help you on your journey. Initially, we would discuss with you the trade mark(s) you wished to use and check that it is not already in existence. If not, we provide a fixed-fee service to apply to register your trade mark and deal with the process through to acceptance.

Alternatively, you may wish to use a trade mark which describes your product or service and which may not be immediately registrable due to it not being distinctive. We can advise you on how, with consistent use, we can make this trade mark distinctive and therefore registrable in the future.

Once your trade mark is in use you need to protect it from others using a trade mark which is identical or similar to yours for goods or services which may be identical or similar to your own. This is because such use can damage the reputation in your trade mark and dilute its value.

We have developed a 'zero tolerance' strategy for some of our clients, enabling us to deal with serious issues quickly and cost effectively.

Of course, if you find your trade mark being used by someone else, the plus side is that your reputation has grown to such an extent that people now want to copy it. The down side is that by ignoring it, your reputation may be damaged and the brand value reduced.

Using someone else's trade mark on a product without their consent is sometimes referred to as counterfeiting or fakes, and this is where our clients face major problems.

As well as our zero tolerance approach, we are the UK member of a European alliance of law firms - called CAPIP - who are able to provide immediate response teams to work with local customs and excise officials in each European member country to prevent counterfeits coming into the EU.

Once you have created a trade mark and built up its reputation, you may decide to create another one which matches the latest trend or technology. Your old trade mark may become obsolete, but it may also still be worth something. We help clients gain income by licensing their obsolete trade marks so that the initial investment in registering them is always providing you with a return.

Our overall approach to helping clients create value in their trade marks prompted The Times legal journalist Edward Fennell to call Shoosmiths 'the legal label to die for'.

Work highlights

  • Providing ongoing assistance to a global mobile phone company in preventing counterfeit products entering the UK 
  • Advising a national food retailer on its trade mark portfolio, and in particular its strategy for applying for new trade marks 
  • Preventing an Australian company using the iconic trade mark belonging to Dr Marten's 
  • Using our 'zero tolerance' approach for a leading restaurant chain on various third parties using its logo or trade mark 
  • Acting for a car manufacturer against importer of genuine goods which originated from outside of the EEA, but were imported without the client's consent, thus infringing the trade marks on those goods