Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys gain Royal Charter

Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys gain Royal Charter

Today marks something of a landmark for the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys.

It is 82 years to the day since the organisation was created, but this year’s anniversary is more than just a milestone, it’s the beginning of a new era for Intellectual Property professionals working throughout the UK.

Established in 1934, the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys is responsible for acting as the voice of the trade mark industry. It was launched to provide support and representation to members, as well as helping to promote best practice across the profession.

Earlier this year, following a meeting of the Privy Council, the Queen granted the institute a royal charter, in recognition of the work undertaken by the institute for its role in representing the specialist work of Trade Mark Attorneys within the UK.

Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys gain Royal Charter


What does the Royal Charter mean for practising Trade Mark Attorneys currently working in the UK?

The most important job of a Trade Mark Attorney is to help both individuals and businesses to protect their trade marks by filing applications, dealing with examinations and ensuring a registered marks are renewed.

As a chartered institute, the CITMA will continue to regulate the trademark attorney industry according to bylaws set out in the charter as well as providing representation to members, should a case be brought against them.

Chartered Trade Mark Attorney must participate in a programme of continuous professional development, to help ensure the high professional standards synonymous with the institute are upheld, the designation of a Chartered Status reflects the individual attorney’s commitment towards upholding the highest possible levels of professional standards.

The Chartered status also means members of the institute, who fulfil the criteria can call themselves a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney, illustrating their own commitment to the profession.

Chartered Trade Mark Attorneys will protect your trade marks, brands and logos by filing trade mark applications.  They can also This level of strategic advice is valuable to businesses as correctly registered intellectual property increases the value of organisations in a way that is important to banks

Do I really need a Trade mark to protect my brand?

2016 marks the 750th anniversary of the first trade mark legislation. Long before The Great British Bake Off, it was the humble loaf of bread which became the subject of the earliest British Trade mark legislation. Passed by King Henry III in 1266 the Baker’s Marking Law is one of the earliest known laws governing trade marks. The legislation enabled bakers to stamp or use pinpricks on loaves of bread to denote the producer and was not only designed to ensure authenticity but was also used to ensure any baker falling selling short measures could be tracked down and pilloried!

Although silversmiths and porcelain manufacturers followed, it wasn’t until nearly 600 years later that the 1875 Trade Marks Registration Act became law, with the first Trade Marks Registry established a year later.

Trade marks today provide an important way of protecting your brand and deterring others from trading by using your company name or brand. A trade mark registration provides legal ownership of the trade mark, commonly referred to as “the mark” and can be a logo, name or even a colour scheme, sound or smell.

Do I need a trade mark?
A registered trade mark makes others think twice about copying your brand. Should anyone attempt to use your registered trade mark without permission, you can legal take action to prevent them from doing so.

What is a trade mark?
A trade mark is a sign which helps to distinguish your goods and services from other competitors on the market. A registration of the trade mark allows you to prevent unauthorised use of the trade mark and is likely to deter others from using anything similar.

It is worth noting that when a trade mark is registered, it only protects the brand of a particular product or service, not the product or service itself. If you have an invention you would like to protect, then we’d recommend reading our patents section.

Once registered, a trade mark is renewable every ten years. Some of the earliest registered trade marks continue to remain in use today.

Does it have to be unique?
Yes. If you are unsure as to whether your trade mark application will be registered, always consult an intellectual property specialist.  Before filing a trade mark application, research should be undertaken to check that the mark is not already registered.  Your trade mark attorney can conduct searches before filing the application.

How do I register a trade mark?
A trade mark attorney will advise you of the best way of protecting your brand. You should always seek advice from such an intellectual property specialist as registering a trade mark can be a lengthy and complicated process.

Should I register a trade mark overseas?
If your business is based overseas as well as the UK, then you should register your trade mark in each country in which your business operates.

Throughout Europe, you can apply for an EU trade mark which is enforceable in all EU member states.

If you aim to branch out your business into other countries, we would recommend consulting with a trade mark attorney at the earliest stage. They will help you to make the right decisions to help protect, and grow, your business.

To find out more about Howard Lock Intellectual Property can help your business, contact 0114 218 0653

To patent, or not to patent?

Britain has a long tradition of innovation but it’s perhaps worth remembering that not every invention is likely to result in commercial success. The national archives are filled with ideas from would-be-entrepreneurs that never quite made it into production. Moustache protectors, inflatable corsets and even spectacles for chickens may sound curiously comical, but they do offer some valuable lessons for entrepreneurs who are thinking of patenting a new invention.

As an intellectual property specialist, one of the most commonly asked questions I receive from business owners relates to the different ways in which they can prevent others from copying their ideas. For some, filing a patent application is an important step in securing investment to commercialise research and development – offering opportunities to diversify and expand. For others, it provides an opportunity to distinguish themselves from competitors, introducing new manufacturing processes or techniques which can offer significant commercial advantage.

In many cases, patents can relate to different aspects of an invention, so you can patent a process or method as well as a product. There are also financial incentives available. The Government’s Patent Box scheme allows entrepreneurs to claim Corporation Tax relief on the profits of patented technology. However, in cases where an invention is unlikely to enter into production, the benefits of filing a patent application can be questionable.

It’s perhaps worth remembering that filing a patent application is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Patents should certainly be considered before an invention has been disclosed in the public domain and it’s also worth giving thought to the geographical areas applicable to your business. Although, obtaining patents throughout the world may at face-value appear to be an attractive option, the likely costs of filing and renewing the patent over twenty years could run into tens of thousands of pounds. Therefore, consulting a patent attorney at the earliest possible stage will help you to make the right choices for your business.

To find out how Howard can help your business, call 0114 218 0653 today

Patent Advice

Some say imitation is the best form of flattery, but there’s nothing flattering about a business rival copying ideas which have taken your company time, research and money to develop.

Filing a patent application is one of the most effective ways of protecting inventions. A successfully granted patent is not only likely to deter others from copying your business ideas, but it also provides your business with legal ownership rights.

Based in Sheffield, Howard Lock Intellectual Property provides friendly, professional advice which is always tailored towards your individual needs. In other words, we treat the people we help in a way that we would.

For over 25 years, founder of the company Howard Lock has been helping businesses to make the right decisions when it comes to protecting intellectual property. As a qualified Chartered Patent Attorney, European Patent Attorney and Trade Mark Attorney you can be assured of receiving the best possible advice when it comes to protecting your business ideas.

We will guide you through the whole process of applying for a patent. From the outset we will take time to examine the design and we will make recommendations on how to obtain the best possible protection for your ideas, as well as conducting searches on your behalf to ensure similar designs have not previously been granted.

Using our many years of professional expertise, we will draft and file the patent application on your behalf, keeping you fully informed as the application progresses. For businesses holding multiple patents, we also offer a complete portfolio management service.

It’s worth remembering that different patent laws can apply in different countries and using his extensive experience and understanding of UK, European and International patent laws, and Howard Lock Intellectual Property will help to secure the right forms of protection for your business, no matter where in the world you trade.

Our client base ranges from established manufacturing and engineering companies to family-run ventures and start-ups and from our Sheffield-based headquarters we work with many different types of businesses throughout the UK.

A granted patent will not only provide your business with legal protection for an invention, but there can also be tax benefits associated with Patent ownership. Under the Government’s Patent Box scheme, tax liabilities can be reduced on any profits generated from patented technology.