Trade marks form a fundamental part of intellectual property law, both across commercial business organisations and those who are primarily involved with artistic and creative endeavours.

This is particularly true in so many of the UK's creative, IT and brand-led industries, where good advice can be the difference between success and failure.

Orrato member lawyers can help you uphold and develop your rights to ensure your success and security from now into the future.

Trade marks

Trade marks are used as a marker of distinct identity and/or to protect and uphold an established reputation; they give the holder certain exclusive rights and prevent other parties from appropriating the mark in any way. However, in cases of trade mark infringement, this trade mark may sometimes be imitated by a competitor or unscrupulous opportunist for reputational or material gain.

A trade mark can take on several forms, including any combination or single example of the following:

  • Designs
  • Images
  • Names
  • Signatures
  • Logos
  • Words
  • Shapes
  • Sound


UK trade marks are registered with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). UKIPO will look at applications on a case-by-case basis and determine whether the trade mark being sought is distinctive enough to warrant official registration.

The process of trade mark registration usually takes between three and four months. However, in cases where objections are raised by interested parties, this can take much longer and in some cases may even result in legal action.

A registered trade mark is current for ten years, after which time it either lapses or an application for renewal is made with UKIPO.

Intellectual property rights

There are various other rights related to trade mark and/or design rights; these are known as intellectual property (IP) rights.

IP rights have value and as such can be sold, transferred or licensed, either permanently or for a specified period; additionally, sale, transfer or licensing may be exclusive or non-exclusive, depending on the terms of the agreement.

Oratto's member trade mark lawyers

Oratto's membership includes many specialist trade mark lawyers working across all the relevant areas of business law, corporate law, media law and the creative industries.

Trade marks and intellectual property concerns are fundamental to much of business and if there are disputes and misuse, this can be financially draining.

To find a lawyer who can assist you in your trade mark dispute today, browse through our member lawyer profiles or try our Match Service.