Commercial Law Services
Trade Marks (and trade names) serve to indicate the source of a product or service. They often form an important part of the brand of a supplier of goods / services. Marks may symbolise the qualities which the product / service enjoy - and offer a guarantee as to those qualities. The law allows protection of Trade Marks to protect business investment and to prevent the public from being mislead.
A Trade Mark is any sign capable of being represented graphically which is capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings
(Note: Use of someone's trade name (or a sign or symbol associated with them) may amount to "Passing Off” which is dealt with in another article)
It is possible to register a Trade Mark in the UK and the EU. Anyone who wishes to use a mark for the goods and/or services specified in the application may apply to the Trade Mark Registry of the Patent Office to register it. There is no requirement for the mark to have been used already: an intention to use in the future will be enough. As part of the application a "representation” of the mark must be supplied.
An application must be made in good faith. This should prevent "stockpiling” of marks, and attempts to register merchandiseable marks without consent (eg the name of a pop star).
More than one person may, independently, seek to register the same or similar marks without being able to claim prior use: in that case the earlier to apply should succeed.
The Trade Marks Register is divided into 45 classes: 34 for goods and 11 for services. This is designed as an aide for searching. On receipt of the application (and fee) the Registry will conduct a search for identical and similar marks. If registered the mark is protected for 10 years. Marks may be re-registered.
Challenging a Trade Mark
A Trade Mark may be challenged on two main grounds:
- Non-use. After registration an owner must put the mark to genuine use. It may be revoked if not used in 5 years from registration or any period of 5 years. Any person may apply - even if they do not have an interest in the mark. Certain exceptions apply to this broad rule.
- The mark has become generic. Where a mark has become so dominant it nay become the general term used to describe the product eg "tablet” and so lose distinctiveness and be revocable.
Infringing a Trade Mark
A Trade Mark is infringed by use of a sign which may be summarised as:-
- identical to the Trade Mark for identical goods and services
- identical to the Trade Mark for similar goods and services and there is likely to be confusion in the minds of the public
- similar to the Trade Mark for identical or similar goods and services and there is likely to be confusion in the minds of the public
- identical or similar to the Trade Mark for same or similar goods and the trade mark has a reputation in the UK and the use takes unfair advantage of, or is detrimental to, the character or repute of the Trade Mark
- identifies the goods or services as those of the proprietor of the mark but is dishonest, or without due cause, or takes unfair advantage or is detrimental to the character or repute of the mark
Use covers more than merely a graphical representation of the mark.
General defences include:
- Differences in the sign or mark used
- that the complainants mark is liable to be revoked or is invalid
- that the defendants use is outside that registered by the owner
- honest practice
Almost all litigation surrounding Trade Marks will occur in the Chancery Division of the High Court. Remedies include:
- Damages and/or an action for account
- an Order for erasure of the sign
- A declaration of infringement
- Delivery up and destruction of goods bearing the offending mark
Trade Mark actions often form part of larger claims for Intellectual Property damage.
Actions involving trade marks may result in urgent applications for injunctive relief and should be treated as of the utmost importance. Clough & Willis will assist in all Trade Mark infringement and Intellectual Property disputes.
What Our Clients Say
I was very impressed with Sallys patient, knowledgeable ideas and explanations. The law can be very confusing. Her genuine wish to help was much appreciated.
I am part sighted and things that I have found hard to read have been read to me with understanding and patience. I feel well served.
I am now happy that my will and Lasting Power of Attorney has been prepared by a solicitor. In past years it was through the bank. They are not solicitors. Now I can see the difference, Miss Sally Cook was so professional and very thorough from start to finish. A very big thank you to Sally for everything. Also thank you to Clough & Willis Solicitors.
Everything that they did was done without any bother at all. Their professionalism could not be improved.
Very satisfied with the service from Sally Cook - very helpful and professional
Mr & Mrs McColgan
We found the whole process quick and stress free! Sally Cook was both professional and efficient and we were very pleased with the service we received.
I was very pleased to meet with Sally Cook, for her to prepare my complete new Will, and Lasting Power of Attorney. It was not easy for me to understand all of that, but Sally guided me through. Sally took the time to explain to me the content of both, nothing was too much trouble and I can't thank her enough for everything she did. From myself thank you so much Sally.
Mr R Wareing
Sally Cook was very professional and explained to me what a Will consisted off and dealt with the matter quickly and very efficiently would recommend to anyone.
Miss T Wareing
Sally was helpful, friendly, professional and very approachable. I felt completely at ease and important to her as a client. Keep up the good work.
They were very kind to me when my husband died.
Many thanks to Sally for the excellent service we received.
I found Sally Cook to be very helpful, approachable and professional.
Having to go through the difficulties and complexities of a divorce, I am extremely pleased to have received the best possible legal advice and guidance from Marie. Marie has ensured that I have had my interests protected at all times, enabling me to relax, in the knowledge that all would be sorted.
I just wanted to say thank you for your advice. I left your office feeling a lot better than when I went it. Your help and advice has really helped me
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Particular thanks to Marie Whittaker and excellent choice of Barrister. Guided and helped us through a difficult and stressful time.
A big thank you to Mrs Whittaker I found her to be professional yet understanding in what has been a very difficult time for myself.
You were great from start to finish. We were very fortunate to have Marie representing us. Many thanks to you all.
Marie helped me through a really rough time in a very professional manner.
Extremely pleased with the professionalism, the clear cut explanations and the manner in which my case was dealt with. Would have no hesitations in recommending Marie.
I was extremely happy with the way Marie handled my divorce. She made it a less painful experience than it may have otherwise been. I have recommended her to a colleague who I also think is very happy.
Marie kept me informed throughout a hard long winded case which was no fault of Clough & Willis. The case was concluded as quickly as possible with the least expense to me. Will use you again for sure.
Everything was very professional and quick. I would use Clough & Willis in the future, if needed.
My experience has been very positive, you are a great team! Always welcoming, always approachable and always efficient and professional. Marie supported me throughout a complex divorce and allowed me to do things in my own time and in my own way – this was important to me.
Many thanks to Shefali for her hard work in making our move go well. Thank you.
Mr & Mrs Scott
Made what could have been a difficult matter, easy, fast and in a very friendly manner.
An excellent service highly recommended. Can't thank Miss Talukdar enough for her help and personal attention to our move.
Thank you for dealing with our house sale in such a courteous and speedy manner.
Mr & Mrs Beetson
Very professional. Kept us up to date at all times. Miss Talukdar was extremely helpful and kept us updated when there were any problems.
Mr & Mrs Fitton
I received excellent service throughout the process, including being offered invaluable advice. I would recommend Clough & Willis to others.
The efficiency of your service had much to do with the successful sale of our property. Your extensive knowledge meant the quick resolution of one potential stumbling point. We were very happy.
Legal difficulties were overcome to enable us to complete both our sale and purchase. Without Clough & Willis advice and assured professionalism we would have floundered.
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Shefali was first class I can't speak highly enough of her.
Dominique has been fantastic throughout, extremely professional, helpful and thorough. Thank you so much.
Very impressed with the prompt, professional and friendly service I received from beginning to end. Offered great value for money and took some of the stress away from buying a house. Clough & Willis will be my first choice in future and highly recommend to friends and family.
Dominique was very professional when handling the purchase of my house and kept me up to date with information at every opportunity. The purchase and completion all went smoothly and I believe this was down to the professionalism and support from Clough & Willis.
I found Dominique to be professional, diligent and a no jargon approach.
I was very pleased with the service Dominique provided. She was always fully up to date on my case whenever I called.
Dominique was absolutely brilliant, kept me well informed and had me moved in very quickly. The whole process was very smooth and fast.
Looked after our interests at all times and offered relevant advice and explanations.
I was extremely pleased with the service provided to me throughout. Everyone I spoke to at the practice was very kind and professional. I felt that Dominique made every effort to help get my mortgage completed as quickly as possible.
“Dominique was great, sorted out all the problems and made buying our first home together a little less hectic!”
Mr Talbot & Miss Farnworth
Thank you so much for completing the legal work on the sale of my home. Your team and yourself are very helpful and professional. I can now get on with my life. I will recommend Clough & Willis to my friends and family.
Many thanks for the help, advice and guidance
I have had need to use other solicitors - but was unhappy with their performance. I would always choose Clough & Willis in the future
I found Fiona very clear and to have a very pleasant manners, I felt she had a personal interest.
I would like to take the opportunity to say Fiona Gaskell was more than helpful and went the extra mile during my disputed land situation. She remained professional but allowed personable approach. Thank you.
Ms J Hall
May I thank you for a first class service, excellent guidance and the support I received from you was wonderful and helped me to cope with a very difficult situation.
Mrs J Atkinson
Fiona Gaskell is a true professional along with her colleagues, many thanks for all your hard work.
Excellent service, more than we hoped for
I am so pleased with how Mr Macwilliam handled my case. He was extremely helpful and patient with us. I would recommend him 100% to anyone who needed a solicitor.
We used Clough & Willis because we believe Chris Macwilliam is the best solicitor in his field within the Bury area possibly within the Manchester / North West area. We would highly recommend Clough & Willis to family and friends.
I would like to say I am extremely grateful to all at Clough & Willis. I enjoyed the fact that I could ring at any point and speak to Mr Macwilliam and always be given his full co-operation and time. I was never rushed to finish the call! I would also like to add, Mr Macwilliam kept me so up to date with my case, I always felt in the loop, I almost felt like I was the only client and felt the service was very personnel! Thank you and all the best!
I greatly appreciated Mr Macwilliam's handling of my claim. His expertise made the whole process so easy for me and I am highly satisfied with the outcome. Many thanks.
Christopher Macwilliam was excellent throughout my claim. He listened carefully and always kept me up to date. Everything was handled in a highly professional manner and I cannot speak highly enough of Chris and the company as a whole.
Mr Macwilliam has been very patient as my husband is dyslexic, some things needed explaining a few times and in other ways so Alan could understand. The interim payments were a huge help while the claim was going through.
I was pleased with the professional and efficient manner with which my claim was dealt with. It was an unusual claim / incident but Mr Macwilliam put time and effort into understanding the dental side of the issue. I am very pleased with the outcome.
Mr Macwilliam dealt with my case exactly how I had hoped. He was extremely professional throughout and always kept me up to date with the progress that was being made.
I am writing to express our gratitude for all your hard work in securing a very good payment for the accident.
This was the second occasion that Chris Macwilliam has helped me to settle a problem. I have always found him to be very professional, patient and an extremely good listener. If I require the services of a solicitor in the future I would definitely contact Clough & Willis. I have recommended the firm on numerous occasions.
Client Satisfaction Comment
I was very happy with the service I received at Clough & Willis. Everything was explained clearly and patiently and each request I made was dealt with efficiently. I am happy with my outcome and would definitely recommend them to friends.
Client Satisfaction Comment
I was very happy about the service I received from Lee personally. He was very through in all areas and always kept me informed.
Thank you for doing your job so well! We are really grateful for your knowledge, expertise and professionalism which definitely helped to make an awful situation move along as smoothly as it could.
It is always good to know that I have a trusted advisor when I need help in the future, especially someone like Lee with his sympathetic manner and understanding nature. Not forgetting his sense of humour.
Thank you very much Lee for your support, help and advice in such a traumatic period of time. You were so professional. Thanks to you and your team I can forget about the last ten years. The house has finally been sold and I can get on with my life. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Thank you to Rebecca for showing much empathy and sensitivity at a very difficult time for our family.
I wish to thank Rebecca Green for her kind and friendly approach to my requirements, she made me feel relaxed from the very start and was extremely informative to everything I asked her. Many thanks Rebecca.
I felt completely at ease with Rebecca. Despite her professional status I didn’t feel at all intimidated. She took charge in a respectful manner.
I was very pleased with the way Rebecca Green dealt with the making of my Will. She was thorough in her explanations and made me feel she was really experienced in her work. I would have no hesitation in recommending her.
Rebecca was extremely helpful and friendly in my making a new will, also a very nice person to meet.
I was made to feel welcome and Rebecca made me feel more like a friend than a client.
Rebecca is very good at explaining all the issues concerning making a Will. She dealt with my case efficiently and she has a very friendly manner.
Rebecca was helpful and informative but she also gave us time to think things over without time pressure – thank you.
Mr & Mrs Harrington
My husband and I were very pleased and impressed by Ms Green when she came to our home she was very patient and helpful.
I would just like to say thank you to Clough & Willis and Rebecca Green for being so kind and I will recommend you.
Rebecca is to be highly commended for her friendly and highly professional approach. She represents a real asset to your firm.
We found Lorraine to be very understanding and dealt with us very professionally going the extra miles whilst we were out of the UK.
Very happy with Lorraine and her team. They kept us informed at all times and advised us appropriately. We felt really valued as clients and would be happy to recommend Clough & Willis to family and friends.
Mr & Mrs Lloyd
Everyone I dealt with was polite and efficient. Emails and phone calls were replied to quickly. Made a good impression on me I would certainly recommend Lorraine to other would be sellers.
I have been thoroughly impressed with Lorraine’s attention to details, which has ensured my interests have been looked after and protected. Lorraine is a professional, efficient and friendly partner at Clough & Willis and a true credit to the firm.
Lorraine Stratton-Webb dealt with me in a professional manner, she kept me informed and made the move more easy than I had envisaged.
I have complete faith in your company and all of the staff. I have been confidently aware that you do the job in hand and keep me updated along the way. I have never had to chase up anything at all from any members of your team - you just do it regardless! Very refreshing. Thank you.
We found Clough & Willis experienced as to put us at ease during our house sale and purchase which is stressful most of the time, so it’s good to have a firm like Clough & Willis to support you through it from start to finish.
Mr & Mrs Tate
Lorraine Stratton-Webb – “Strength in the face of adversity” - 4 days after I thought I would lose the house of my dreams she completed the purchase. Thank You.
Thanks for a very professional approach during my house purchase. Buying for my first house I had complete faith in Lorraine Stratton-Webb leaving no stone unturned during property searches.
I would have no hesitation in using Clough & Willis; the team offered a very fast and efficient service and I am delighted with the service received. Thank you very much to Lorraine and her team for another fast and trouble free turn around.
Thank you for your efficiency and hard work.
Amy was informative, fast and thoroughly professional in dealing with my redundancy settlement.
Service was excellent. Knowledge apparently sound as was the advice. Many thanks.
Amy was very attentive and explained the situation carefully and accurately. The team was helpful and quick to sort out any issues.
Very quick to complete the job and very professional.
Amy Ross-Sercombe was excellent. Professional, courteous and knowledgeable, she clearly explained the options available to me and I feel she addressed all the points in a very straight forward manner.
Amy quickly became aware of the company processes, procedures and ethos, all of which enabled sound and positive advice to be given.
Thank you for taking on my case. I am very pleased with the outcome and I was informed at every stage of my case. I would recommend your services.
Client Satisfaction Questionnaire
I just wanted to say a quick word of thanks for your good advice yesterday concerning the settlement agreement.
Thank you for your help and patience in this matter.