** Disclaimer – this post is solely based on my own opinion and experience. The responsibility is yours, and yours alone, should you choose, of your own free well, act out on this advice. **
Trademarking in the UK (http://www.ipo.gov.uk) takes months, you’ll be lucky if your trademark is registered within six months of your initial application. You can spend £000’s with a trademark specialist to advise you on how to go about trademarking to increase the success of it getting registered, or an alternative option is just check to see what classes other companies in a similar space to your own company have registered.
I chose the latter option (well, I would have to, because of the post title!!). Here’s what I found within a few minutes:
- Amazon.co.uk – registered every possible class! (that’s 45 classes)
- ebay – 9, 28, 42
- LinkedIn – 35
- PayPal – 9, 16, 36
- Plaxo – 09, 35, 38, 42
- WordPress – 09, 35, 38, 41, 42
- facebook – 35, 38
There seems to be a common thread here….
Now this is just the UK and in the UK, the application costs £200, plus £50 for each class (max. classes cost £2,250). This could end up pretty expensive for a small little web startup such as inkscroll. Oh and pot luck on the type of UK Patent representive you get assigned to your case.
I have to wonder if its worth doing this for inkscroll. Does it enhance “brand value” (ding!)? Well, sort of but if someone starts using my logo do I have the time and money to take them to court? Probably not. And this is only the UK we’re starting with here, what about the rest of the world? Is it going to be worth registering it in China? Er, no? At least not at this stage.
Luckily, if you have the money to burn, there’s is an easy way to trademark internationally using the Madrid Protocol through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) – http://www.wipo.int . Oh and their members list seems to be missing a few countries?
I think I’ll just start with the UK and a couple of classes, lets see if I can be one of the lucky ones and have it registered within six months
A quick update on trademark classes that I’ve chosen for inkscroll….
After checking out the uk trademark classes here: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tm/t-applying/t-class/t-class-guide.htm and researching the other web services based trademarks and what they signed up to, I have chosen the following classes:
09 – A whole bunch of stuff including Computer Services
35 – Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions
36 – Insureance; financial affairs; monetary affairs; real estate affairs
38 – Telecommunications
42 – Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software
This privilege has cost me £400 and is a gamble. Now I have to wait up to six months to see what classes inkscroll is going to be accepted into.