Skip to main content

Trade Marks: Maladministration

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL280, tabled on 17 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the event of an erroneous trademarking of a trade name by the Intellectual Property Office, they may reverse the trademarking without the need for further legal action by any aggrieved party.

Answered on

1 June 2021

The IPO’s examiners undertake a stringent examination of any trade mark application before it is accepted for registration, which includes a search of current trade marks. Once accepted, all applications are published for a 2-month window where anyone can lodge observations or launch a legal opposition.

Anyone can submit observations to the IPO and outline reasons why they believe a trade mark should not be registered from the date the application is made until it is registered. This IPO does not charge for this service. The IPO will then consider whether the mark has been accepted in error and can reopen the examination phase if there are grounds to do so.

There are more formal legal routes to oppose a trade mark application or invalidate an existing trade mark registration. Whilst these are formal legal processes, the IPO’s Tribunal service is set up to be a low cost and accessible service.