Trade mark law and practice
The laws that make up trade mark legislation in the United Kingdom (UK) are extensive. We have work manuals to guide us on interpreting the law, and we publish practice notices to inform you of changes to our practices.
Trade Marks Act
The Trade Marks Act 1994, as amended (358Kb) is the current law that covers:
- the registration of trade marks and
- the protection of registered trade marks in the United Kingdom
Full version of Trade Marks Act 1994, ISBN 0 10 542694 6 . Printed copies of this version are published by The Stationery Office Limited, and available from The Stationery Office (TSO) Online Bookstore.
Trade Marks Rules
We administer the Act according to detailed Rules, The Trade Marks Rules 2008 (383Kb) came into force on 1 October 2008 and these rules revoke and replace the Trade Marks Rules 2000 (365Kb). Rule 83 of the Trade Marks Rules 2008 gives transitional provisions in respect of those cases where legal proceedings were commenced before the introduction of the new rules.
Printed copies of the Rules are published by The Stationery Office Limited, and available from The Stationery Office (TSO) Online Bookstore.
The law relating to trade marks may also be affected by Statutory Instruments. These are secondary legislation passed by parliament. Printed copies of Statutory Instruments are published by and available from The Stationery Office (TSO) Online Bookstore.
Trade mark practice
Our Manual of trade marks practice sets out guidance on our work practices and our Law Practice Directions provide additional guidance on the conduct of adversarial proceedings. We have also published Directions on our hours of business and business days.
Changes to our tribunal functions for trade marks, registered designs, patents and design right are listed in our Tribunal Practice Notices. Changes to our practice, such as how we interpret a provision of the law, or how we handle applications are announced in our Practice amendment notices.
All other trade mark announcements are covered by our trade marks general notices.