In the digital era, it is more important now than ever to protect your intellectual property. While the process is fairly simple, the minutia can confuse people and lead to improper registration. Even a small mistake can invalidate your claim to your trademark. Knowing the proper steps for registration can help you navigate the world of intellectual property.

What is intellectual property?

The World Intellectual Property Organization defines intellectual property as referring to “creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce.” The purpose of laws surrounding creativity and thought is to give individuals the right to prosper from their creativity and protect individual’s original thoughts. These laws are enacted via patents, trademarks, etc.

Steps to Set Up a Trademark

Your location will change the processes through which you will get a trademark on intellectual property, so it is important to do your research. In the United Kingdom, there are three basic steps to set up a trademark:

Check to see if your trademark is available: you have to check to see if anyone has already set up a trademark with the same idea, name, branding, etc. as you.

Put in your application: after you find out if you have an original trademark, you can submit an application for review

Respond to objections: it is possible for people to reject your application or object to some aspect of it. You will have time to respond accordingly.

For a more comprehensive step-by-step guide, visit the Entrepreneur Handbook.

Single or Series

You can register your trademark as a single or series trademark, depending on how much protection you want for your idea. This distinction is most important for individuals who plan on having variations to the trademark. For example, if you want to use a variation of your single trademark, you can pay extra for series protection, to include modifications, i.e. mobile variations.

Class and Term

Another area which gives people trouble is choosing the correct class and term for their trademark. This step is an important component to trademarking because it denotes where your idea lies within an industry. Finding the most relevant and specific class and term will protect your trademark and ensure little confusion in the registration process. Take your time during this step. While you can do a search for keywords, it can be beneficial to search for your class directly, then look through all relevant categories listed.

When in doubt, there are lawyers trained in the details of trademark and intellectual property who can ensure the process is executed correctly, and that your trademarks are valid.