Trade-mark laws increase need for vigilance

Marketers will have to be "much more vigilant" about monitoring UK trade marks when changes to the law are made on October 1, according to patent and trade mark solicitors Marks & Clerk.

Marketers will have to be “much more vigilant” about monitoring UK trade marks when changes to the law are made on October 1, according to patent and trade mark solicitors Marks & Clerk.

The new laws will change the role of the UK Intellectual Property Office, which has previously been able to refuse applications because they are too similar to existing marks. From October, its role will only be to judge if an application is distinctive and fitting to become a trade mark.

Mark Lynd, a partner at Marks & Clerk, says that marketers will need to be more proactive at checking applications made by rivals. He adds: “Marketers may wish to budget for trade-mark watching services.”

The changes only affect trade marks that are registered in the UK and do not extend to the European Union.

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