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Can You Trademark a Name Already in Use in the UK ?


Last Updated on June 8, 2024 by D. Lalitha B.L (Hons)

A trademark is a unique sign, word, or phrase that sets a company’s product or service apart from its rivals. This can be seen in well-known brands like KFC, catchphrases like “connecting people” from Nokia, and icons like the puma. Trademarks are important resources as they help customers recognize and rely on businesses, while also safeguarding against unauthorized use.

Register a Trademark for a Name Already in Use in the UK?

The name you want to use for your business may already be in use or registered with the government. In that case, you can use the steps below.

  • Request permission from the holder of the existing Trademark.
  • Obtain a consent letter from the Trademark holder granting permission for your use.
  • Mail the consent letter along with your Trademark registration form.
  • If applying for a Trademark already in use, expect contact from the intellectual property authority.
  • The authority will provide feedback regarding the existing Trademark’s status and any necessary steps to proceed.

Checking The Trademark Whether It Is Already Registered in UK:

Need to follow the below steps, while checking your Trademark is already registered in the UK:

  • Go to
  • Look for the dedicated section or tool for trademarks.
  • Use the Trademark search feature to explore the database.
  • Enter information like name, logo, or identifying features.
  • Review the results for similar existing trademarks.
  • Analyze closely for identical or similar trademarks.
  • Click on listings to view owner and registration details.
  • Think about consulting a Trademark professional if needed.
  • Determine if adjustments to your Trademark are necessary.
  • Address any conflicts with existing trademarks through modifications or consent-seeking.

By following these steps and thoroughly searching the UK IPO website, you can find out if your Trademark is already registered in the UK.

Essential Elements of an Optimal or Ideal Trademark:

Since we are clear on steps for registering Trademark a Name already in use, let us see how to finalise an ideal Trademark.

Certainly, here are the key components of an ideal Trademark condensed into bullet points:

  • Distinctiveness: Stand out from competitors with unique words, logos, or symbols.
  • Memorability: Easily remembered, pronounced, and spelled by consumers.
  • Descriptiveness: Convey information about goods or services without being too generic.
  • Legality: Comply with legal requirements, not infringing on existing trademarks.
  • Scalability: Versatile for use across different products, services, and markets.
  • Non-generality: Specific to the goods or services it represents, avoiding generic terms.
  • Visual Appeal: Design elements should be aesthetically pleasing and convey the brand’s identity effectively.

As per the rules and regulations of the US, your trademark cannot:

Certainly, here are some restrictions on trademarks according to US rules and regulations, condensed into bullet points:

  • Include generic terms that describe the goods or services.
  • Consist solely of common or laudatory phrases.
  • Confuse consumers with existing trademarks or trade names.
  • Be immoral or scandalous in nature.
  • Infringe upon the rights of existing Trademark holders.
  • Mislead or deceive consumers about the nature, quality, or origin of the goods or services.

Series Application:

Certainly, here are the key points regarding a “series application” for trademarks:

  • Definition: A series application allows for the registration of multiple related trademarks under a single application.
  • Related Marks: Marks in a series application must share a similar element, such as a common base or core, and have minor differences in elements like wording, design, or color.
  • Efficiency: Series applications streamline the registration process by consolidating multiple trademarks into one application, saving time and resources.
  • Cost-Effective: Filing a series application can be more cost-effective than submitting separate applications for each Trademark in the series.
  • Consistency: Series applications ensure consistency in protecting related trademarks, preventing potential conflicts or confusion.
  • Single Filing Date: All trademarks included in a series application receive the same filing date, establishing priority and protecting against later-filed conflicting marks.
  • Examination Process: Each mark in the series undergoes examination individually, considering its distinctiveness, potential for confusion, and compliance with Trademark laws.
  • Separate Registration: If approved, each mark in the series receives its own registration, providing independent protection for each Trademark.
  • Requirements: To qualify for a series application, the marks must be substantially similar and used in connection with related goods or services.
  • Limitations: Series applications may not be suitable for marks that are significantly different or unrelated, which may require separate applications.
  • Strategy: Before filing a series application, it’s essential to carefully evaluate the relationship between the marks and assess whether they meet the requirements for inclusion in the series.

These points emphasize how a series Trademark application can save time and money while also being a strategic choice. They also discuss the idea and advantages of using such an application.


  1. What steps for used name?

If the name you want to Trademark is in use, ensure to search existing trademarks to avoid confusion or disputes. Consider altering your name or seeking permission if similar trademarks exist.

  1. Can I use same name in different sector?

Using a name already in use in another sector might be feasible if there’s no chance of confusion. However, assess the similarity between trademarks and potential consumer confusion.

  1. What if I Trademark a used name accidentally?

If you mistakenly Trademarks a name in use, the owner may oppose or cancel it. Evaluate the situation and negotiate with the owner if needed. Consider altering your Trademark as an option.

  1. Can I Trademark name without existing registration?

Before attempting to register a name used but not trademarked, assess potential confusion with existing Trademarks. Common law Trademarks rights may apply based on prior use. Using a similar name could infringe on those rights.

  1. Is legal advice necessary for Trademarking used name?

A Trademark attorney assists in risk assessment, registration, and developing strategies for intellectual property protection. They navigate the registration process and aid in safeguarding your rights.

  1. Is it possible to Trademark a name in use in UK?

In the UK, trademarking a name in use is usually not allowed if it could confuse with an existing Trademark. Exceptions may apply based on your name’s uniqueness and the related goods or services

D. Lalitha B.L (Hons)

D. Lalitha, B.L (Hons)., MBA., PGDIPL is a seasoned legal professional with extensive experience in contract drafting and reviewing, now ventures into the realm of content writing. With 6 years of experience, she brings a deep understanding of complex legal concepts and a knack for clear communication. Eager to leverage her expertise to craft compelling legal content, she committed to producing informative and engaging articles that resonate with diverse audiences.