Trademarks FAQs

I want to register the name of a device as a trade mark that I have come up with in the clinic but do not want to sell it commercially. Can I do this?

The protection of trade marks is intended to be applied to trade marks which are in commercial use. That use does not need to involve sale of a product which bears the trade mark. Registration of the trade mark might therefore be possible in these circumstances, although careful thought should be given as to the rationale for incurring the costs of the registration process .

My company have been selling a product for a number of years but we never registered the name as a trade mark. Now another company has started selling a competing product using the same name. Is there anything we can do?

In this scenario it may be worth trying to register your name as a trade mark as it could still be possible to register it, especially if you can show a history of trading using it. Use of the trade mark over a period of time can give rise to unregistered trade mark rights in certain circumstances and it might be that the other company is infringing those rights.

We have applied for registration of a trade mark for one of our services, but a previous customer has started to offer the same service using a very similar name to ours and has created confusion amongst our customers who think that he is selling our service. What can we do?

If the application is successful so that the mark becomes registered, it is likely that you will be able to take action against the customer for infringement of the registration. You should contact Medipex for advice on what to do in this situation.

I have seen the term ‘TM’ used on products. What is the difference between this and ®?

The term TM can be applied to a trade mark which has not been registered. The ® symbol can only used on trade marks that have been registered; it is a criminal offence to use the ® symbol on a name which has not been registered.

I have developed a piece of software which has become known quite widely in my clinical domain. I now want to sell this and to protect it from competition I want to register its name as a trade mark. However, someone else already owns a trade mark for the name my software is known by for use in selling chemicals. Can I still obtain a trade mark for my software?

It may still be possible for you to register the name of your software as a trade mark. Whether or not you can register it depends on the degree of similarity between the uses for your software and the uses for the chemicals on which the trade mark is being used, and on the extent of the use of the mark on chemicals.

If the uses for your software and the chemicals are similar, there could be issues of infringement of the other company's trade mark registration in addition to difficulties in obtaining a registrations covering your software.

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Further information or advice

Please contact Medipex on 0113 397 0830.