Free IP advice ahead of London Tech Week 2017

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Creative and art entrepreneurs- listen up and get ready to kick start your project in just ONE WEEK by attending the London Tech Week 2017.

Yes, you heard it right. From the 12th until the 16th of June 2017, you’ll be immersed into a tech festival of live events across London that will get you socializing, networking, learning and provide you with some great business opportunities. Be aware that this week is beneficial for everyone and anyone from the start up/entrepreneurial world and that includes you creative industries geniuses!

There are hundreds of events to choose from, so choose wisely before you embark on this busy week. A must not miss series of Intellectual Property Clinics and an Intellectual Property Seminar, will be held by Keltie LLP during the week. In honour of the Tech Week and all you, art tech savy entrepreneurs, Portafolia Studio has asked Nick Bowie, UK and European Trade Mark Attorney from Keltie LLP, to give you step-by-step advice on trademarks and how to get them funded. Get the pre advice you would need here and be sure to get tickets to the seminars before they all run out!

Obtaining legal protection for your trade mark is a crucial tool in distinguishing one’s commercial offering from that of another business or individual and, above all, to ensure the hard work in building a reputation under your trade mark is not misappropriated.

It is recommended to protect those trade marks of value to you or your business by registering them at the IP offices of the countries of commercial interest. Trade mark registrations provide prima facie evidence of the owner’s rights in a mark and ensure that business is able to prevent third parties causing confusion in the marketplace, or taking advantage of its goodwill in its mark, by using an identical or similar trade mark.

Once in place, trade mark registrations can also be licensed or assigned to generate revenue for your business and are valuable business assets. For example, an art gallery owner who owns a trade mark registration covering “art gallery services” may also wish to cover “printed matter; prints; posters; artists’ materials” within the same registration. Whilst the art gallery owner is not personally interested in making branded merchandise itself, it may wish to grant a licence of the registration to specialist printer or supplier of art materials, thereby creating a secondary revenue stream for the business under the trade mark, whilst maintaining control over quality.

Trade Mark Registration:

Step 1: Clearance Searches

Before adopting or attempting to register a trade mark, it is recommended that clearance searches are conducted in the countries of interest, to ensure that there are no conflicting earlier third party registrations that may block your adoption of a chosen mark. It is not uncommon for a business to launch operations and, after significant expenditure, finds that its use and registration is blocked by an earlier identical or similar trade mark and has little option but to rebrand.

Therefore, we recommend considering due diligence at the earliest stage possible.

Step 3: Preparing the Trade Mark Application

In order to obtain a trade mark registration, it is necessary to specify the goods and/or services for which protection is sought; these should be the goods of current or potential interest to a business.

A detailed conversation with a trade mark attorney is recommended at this stage, in case you have any intention to license the trade mark registration to third parties (subject to specific use conditions).

Dependent on the territory of interest, a trade mark application generally takes between 6 to 24 months to mature to registration.

Step 5: Watching

Following registration, it is advisable to set up a trade mark watching service (offered by most firms of trade mark attorneys) to check for any applications filed by third parties for similar or identical marks in the territories of interest, thereby allowing you the opportunity to oppose registration and use of such marks, should you consider there to be a risk of confusion in the marketplace.

There are also companies offering brand monitoring services which can assess how your trade marks are being used by third parties in the marketplace, including on social media sites, and provide warnings of counterfeit and infringing goods and services.

 Unregistered Trade Marks

In certain territories, trade marks are protected as a result of their use, regardless of whether they are registered. For example, in the UK, the law of passing off provides businesses with protection over trade marks in which they have acquired goodwill.

Further, whilst it is possible to license or assign unregistered trade marks, third parties and particularly investors will prefer the security of having an identifiable trade mark registration.

Therefore, unregistered rights should not be relied on in respect of the most important trade marks to a business but can be considered a helpful ‘back up’.


Conducting detailed due diligence and applying for branding protection can become an expensive exercise. In this regard, the UK government runs funding competitions to enable specific businesses to apply for grants, designed to assist with costs relating to test the feasibility of your idea, research and development. More details can be viewed here, including qualification requirements and application periods.

Should you have any questions in relation to securing legal protection for your brand, we recommend arranging a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your requirements.


Keltie LLP is offering free intellectual property dvice clinics throughout London Tech week to provide advice on protecting inventions, brads and products via patent, trademark and design applications.

  1. Suviving the Valley of Death – and having a good business afterwards                                                                                                      On 13th June Keltie will be co-hosting a seminar focusing on the legal, IP and finance challenges facing start-up companies. Link to Seminar listing
  2. Intellectual Property Clinics: protecting your inventions, branding and designs                                                                                          IP clinics which are the perfect opportunity for start-ups and entrepreneurs wanting to discuss the protection of their inventions, trade marks and designs.Each clinic session lasts 45 minutes. Link to IP Clinics listing

If you want to know more about everything that is happening at the London Tech Week, visit their website here

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