small businesses and start-ups

As a small business ourselves, we know what it’s like when there are many demands on your budget and it is difficult to know what to prioritise.  As a result, the protection of your intellectual property rights can all too often take a back seat.

Unfortunately, this can have hugely detrimental effects on your business as it could make it difficult to stop others from copying your brand and thereby diverting your customers away from you.  Furthermore, if you unwittingly infringe someone else’s rights then you may have to not only stop using your brand name, but also pay them compensation as a result.

newWith that in mind, we have put together a range of highly cost-effective Brand Protection Packages to help you to protect your brand for many years to come:

UK Legal Clearance Package £195 + VAT

A legal clearance check is a vital step to take before you go ahead with the launch of a new brand name or logo. Without such a check you are at risk of infringing the rights of other companies, even if they are only using a similar (rather than the same) name as you. In a worse case scenario, if you go ahead without conducting any checks beforehand you may not only risk having to stop using your name/logo, but may also have to pay compensation for infringing the other company’s rights.

It is also important to conduct a clearance check if you are planning to protect your name as a trade mark otherwise you may end up paying Registry fees (which are non-refundable) only to find that your brand name has already been registered.

This package includes:

  • a search of relevant UK trade mark databases to ascertain whether anyone else has already protected the same, or a similar name/logo to you.
  • an on-line search to ascertain whether any other companies are using the same name as you without trade mark protection.
  • a professional view on the level of risk involved with proceeding with the use of your chosen name/logo.
  • advice as to whether your name/logo is likely to be registerable as a UK trade mark.
  • guidance on how best to file your trade mark in the light of any earlier trade marks found in the search.

EU Legal Clearance Package £350 + VAT

This is the European equivalent of the UK Legal Clearance Package, details of which are set out above. The package offered is the same but the databases searched cover all the current EU member states and the advice given will be regarding the risks involved with proceeding with the use of your name/logo throughout the EU, together with the likelihood of obtaining an EU-wide trade mark registration.

UK Trade Mark Package** £450 + VAT + Registry fees*

This is by far our most popular package and is a very cost-effective way of obtaining a UK trade mark registration for your chosen brand name and/or logo. After checking to see if your name is available (see UK Legal Clearance Check details above), we aim to secure you a UK trade mark registration which provides you with a 10 year monopoly in the use of your brand name/logo in relation to the products/services offered by your company.

The fee includes:

  • a 30 minute telephone consultation with an experienced trade mark lawyer to identify which aspects of your brand name and/or logo may be protectable as a trade mark and to explain the trade mark process.
  • strategic drafting and filing of your trade mark application in 1 category (‘class’) of products/services to give it the best chance of success.
  • advising you on and responding to any objections/clarifications raised by the UK Trade Marks Registry.
  • providing you with regular updates on the progress of your application and notifying you of key events/likely timescales.
  • checking and sending you the Registration Certificate on completion of the registration process.
  • entering the trade mark details into our state of the art trade mark management software and providing renewal reminders every 10 years.

EU Trade Mark Package** £550 + VAT + Registry fees*

This is the European equivalent of the UK Trade Mark Package and is ideal for companies who, in addition to the UK, are making sales or manufacturing their products elsewhere in Europe.

The aim of this package is to secure you a Europe-wide trade mark which provides you with a monopoly in your brand name/logo in all the EU member states (including the UK) for a period of 10 years for the products/services offered by your company. If you are currently trading (or plan to trade) in EU countries outside of the UK, this is a much more cost-effective solution to filing national trade marks in each and every country separately.

The fee includes:

  • a 30 minute telephone consultation with an experienced trade mark lawyer to identify which aspects of your brand name and/or logo may be protectable as a trade mark and to explain the trade mark process.
  • strategic drafting and filing your trade mark application in up to 3 categories (‘classes’) of products/services to give it the best chance of success.
  • advising you on and responding to any objections/clarifications raised by the EU Trade Marks Registry.
  • providing you with regular updates on the progress of your application and notifying you of key events/likely timescales.
  • checking and sending you the Registration Certificate on completion of the registration process.
  • entering the details into our state of the art trade mark management software and providing renewal reminders every 10 years.

Prior to filing any new EU trade mark application, we always recommend conducting an EU clearance check first in order to ascertain whether anyone has already protected the same, or a similar, name to you which could prevent yours getting registered (see ‘EU Legal Clearance Package’ above).

*Registry fees for a UK trade mark application filed on-line are currently £170 for 1 class of products/services and £50 for each subsequent class. Registry fees for EU applications start from €850 for 1 class.

**In relation to both our UK and EU Trade Mark Protection Packages please note the following:

  1. Our fixed fee covers 1 class of products/services (UK trade mark) and up to 3 classes (EU trade mark). If you would like protection in more classes, a fee of £50 + VAT is payable for each additional class.
  2. In the (unlikely) event that it is necessary for us to deal with an opposition to your trade mark application or deal with more than one objection/clarification letter received from the Registry, we will charge for our time taken to handle this on your behalf. We will always provide up front estimates of any additional costs at the time though.

Mini IP Audit Package£350 + VAT

This is ideal for companies who are new to intellectual property and would like to have a professional view on what aspects of their company’s brand identity, website content, products and/or services may be protectable as intellectual property assets. Every business owns some intellectual property and by taking steps to identify what it is and how it can be protected, you can immediately increase the value of your business.

It includes:

  • a 30 minute telephone consultation with a specialist trade mark lawyer with advice on the various types of intellectual property protection available (trade marks, copyright, design rights, patents) and whether they are likely to be applicable to your business/brand.
  • a questionnaire carefully tailored to your company in order for us to better understand your current and future business plans.
  • a personalised follow up report setting out key recommendations for protecting your rights and advice on where your business may currently be exposed. Where relevant, the report will also include a no-obligation costs estimate for carrying out the recommendations made.
  • a 10% discount voucher that can be used towards the cost of any of our other Brand Protection Packages.

Copyright Assignment Package £150 + VAT

A common misconception is that if you use external agents such as web designers, marketing companies or freelance photographers, you will own the copyright in the materials/photos they have created for you. Unfortunately this is not the case and the only way to ensure that you legally own the rights in these materials, is to arrange for the copyright to be assigned to you by means of a written Copyright Assignment. This package therefore includes:

  • discussing your requirements over the telephone or via email (as you prefer).
  • drafting a straightforward Copyright Assignment specifically tailored to your needs.
  • answering any questions you have on the terms of the Assignment and providing guidance on how to get it legally executed.

Bespoke Advice £ (to be agreed)

We appreciate that the assistance you need may not always fall squarely within one of the Brand Protection Packages listed above. If you have any other requirements therefore such as assistance with defending an opposition that has been filed against your trade mark application, or you have received a letter claiming you have infringed the copyright of a third party, then please get in touch. We will always arrange a free initial call to discuss your requirements and wherever possible, agree a fixed fee for assisting you so that you can decide whether you wish to proceed.

You may also be interested in some of our other bespoke services, details of which are outlined here.