Expertise Trade Marks

Your brand is probably your most valuable IP asset. It supports your reputation and it is how your customers know you. Trade marks help you keep that core value safe and that is critical in a world where the proliferation of digital products and channels means that your brand is under constant under threat.

We provide a one-stop-shop 360˚ service for trade mark matters, including for businesses operating in an international context. Our combined trade mark management, litigation and commercial IP practice offers significant strength and depth to clients looking for well-rounded trade marks advice. This combined with our genuine sector-focused approach means that we really do understand the landscapes in which you operate.

We advise on all aspects of trade marks and brand protection across the entire brand life-cycle. We regularly advise household-name brands, providing strategic trade mark advice, enabling them to generate, preserve, exploit, enforce and defend their brands.

Our trade marks team is a fully integrated practice of lawyers and attorneys, and our trade marks management practice sits alongside our dispute resolution and commercial practices, to ensure that we are there to help you develop and protect all aspects of your business.

Our trade mark work includes:

  • Trade mark applications and registrations
  • Portfolio management both domestically and on a global scale
  • Brand searches and risk reports
  • Trade mark watching services
  • Contentious Registry proceedings
  • Trade mark and passing off litigation
  • Anti-counterfeiting
  • Customs applications and enforcement
  • Parallel imports, repackaging and exhaustion
  • Trade libel and malicious falsehood
  • Comparative advertising and advertising complaints
  • Competition and restraint of trade
  • Domain name recovery and company name disputes
  • Enforcement programmes
  • IP audits and due diligence
  • Licensing
  • Franchising
  • Distribution and agency arrangements
  • Co-existence agreements

We have considerable experience of managing trade mark and IP portfolios, from UK, Benelux and EU protection through to managing global brands. We provide the full range of portfolio management services, viewed through the highly strategic lens of commercially astute IP lawyers and experienced litigators.

We understand that managing a busy trade mark portfolio can feel overwhelming. That is why we developed our own ‘Pilgrim’ trade mark platform where we can collaborate seamlessly with our clients around their critical brand assets.

We have particular experience advising on some more unusual aspects of trade mark law, including issues such as:

  • non-traditional trade marks, from shapes, to colours to other unusual aspects. We help seek protection for our clients and to enforce or defend actions involving these rights; and
  • exhaustion of rights, parallel imports, and repackaging of goods already on the market. We help identify issues and devise strategies whilst factoring in competition law issues to help navigate associated risks.

We have extensive experience in coordinating and handling local and multi-jurisdictional disputes, including through Registry proceedings such as oppositions and cancellations, and in resolving such disputes out of court where appropriate.

We act directly before the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP)], the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). We work with a range of independent firms for overseas matters, who are experts in local trade mark laws.

We have deep understanding of the UK, Belgian and European court and appellate court procedures. We recognise our client’s commercial concerns and understand the importance of pursuing mediation and alternative dispute resolution procedures where appropriate. We have advised a number of international brands in relation to trade mark disputes, the majority of which are resolved outside court.

We have notable expertise in the protection of trade marks online, particularly in relation to anti-counterfeiting, and have been at the forefront of the development of the case law requiring internet service providers to block access to websites selling counterfeit goods.

We work closely together with our sister business Incopro, whose Talisman system provides a trade mark monitoring and enforcement service. Together we provide clients with a unique, one-stop online brand protection and anti-counterfeiting service.