How do I get a trade mark for my business?

legal protection trade mark Mar 30, 2022
Imagine if you had a trade mark to protect your brand and business

This blog post was first published on 30 October 2019

Imagine this: After three years of building your audience, your latest course is SOLD OUT! Wahoo, you’re business has turned a corner and you’re regularly taking home a decent wage.

You don’t ever want to lose this feeling.

You decide it’s time to get a trade mark for your business, but where do you start?

[This blog is information only for registering a trade mark in the UK and does not constitute legal advice.]


Simple Steps to Getting A Trade Mark

So where do you start? Well perhaps you’re not actually sure what you should protect. Do you protect your business name or your course name? Or both? If both are unique and you don’t want anyone else to copy them then you need to protect them both and do so in separate applications. The reality is you can register your business name, logo, course, group programme even your eBook.

Once you know what you’re going to protect you can begin to read up on what’s involved and you’ll discover you need to select a trade mark “class”. There are 45 classes and the class you chose will depend on what you want to protect. You can choose multiple classes for your mark, but you can’t chose to register an online course and then start offering a completely different service, such as selling snacks, under the same mark.

A few more hours of researching later you've picked Class 41 (fingers crossed that’s right) and you now need to draft the class specification. Draft it too narrowly and you risk not protecting your brand. Draft it too widely and you risk infringing on someone else’s mark.

After while you’ve spent the best part of a day looking into this and then you realise that you haven’t even looked at all of the databases or done any discovery or clearance to find out if anyone else has the mark.

What if someone else has a similar mark? Do you have to stop trading? Can your mark still be registered? Will changing the class status help to get it approved?

Why should I get a trade mark?

Registering a trade mark can feel overwhelming and confusing. Not protecting your business is stressful and can cause a lot of anxiety. Trade marks work both ways, until you have one you’re at risk of infringing on someone else’s intellectual property and you also run the risk that someone will take your great idea and trade mark it first.

If you have a fantastic idea and you don’t want anyone to copy it then a trade mark could be for you. In a number of industries, especially in the online world, people pop up with new courses and new ideas seemingly overnight. The trade marking process will take a minimum of two months to obtain and there is a financial investment involved too. The result of this is that when you see a course which has a trade mark it usually means that the programme and the coach is planning on sticking around.


It sounds great but also a lot of work

The most important thing about applying for your trade mark is that you complete all of the necessary checks on the databases before applying, otherwise you simply waste your money on the application fees. That’s why I offer a done for you service. I send you a questionnaire and find out all of the information about what your business does and what type of protection you’re looking for. We then set the class and class specification that best represents what you’re doing now with a view to the protection you might need in the future. You then leave it to me to complete the application and deal with any queries from the Intellectual Property Office.

If you’d like to find out more about how I can help then send me an email [email protected] and if you’re ready to get started hit the box below to purchase.



1. When should I get a trade mark?

You don’t need a trade mark from day one when you start in business. However, the longer you grow your business without obtaining a trade mark you leave yourself open to someone else registering the trade mark before you.

2. Can I use the ® symbol?

Once you have made your application and the Intellectual Property Office have approved your mark, you can use the ® symbol.

3. Do many people have trade marks?

A lot of course creators and coaches have them. Marie Forleo has a trade mark for B School® and Amy Porterfield has one for Systems That Scale ®. Having a trade mark brings authenticity and legitimacy to your business.

4. If I register a trade mark in the UK does that mean I have worldwide protection?

No. Each jurisdiction has different rules. In order to begin obtaining protection on a global scale you have to obtain a local mark initially first.

5. What if I’m in the middle of my course launch and I discover that someone else has been using the name already and they have a trade mark?

Eeeek! If someone else has a registered trade mark it doesn’t matter if you’ve been using the name for years already or if you’re hours away from a huge launch. A registered trade mark gives the owner legal protection and this means that they can enforce against anyone who infringes their mark. As soon as you realise someone else has a name/course title registered that you are already using you should stop and seek legal advice on what to do next.

If you’ve got something special that you’d like to protect I would love to hear from you.

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