Company Names and Trade Marks
In order to help customers avoid any uncertainty about the functions performed by Companies House and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in respect of company names and Trademarks the table below clarifies the functions of the two offices.
|What the IPO does
||What Companies House does
|Deals with applications to register trade marks such as words, logos, pictures, etc that are used by traders to identify their particular products or services to the general public.
||Deals with applications to register the names of companies, limited liability partnerships and other organisations that register under the Companies Act and appear on the registrar’s index.
|Checks to see if your trade mark meets a list of legal requirements, including:
- Is it distinctive?
- Is descriptive for the goods or services?
- Is it offensive?
|Checks to see if the proposed name of the organisation is ‘offensive’, implies a connection with government or includes a restricted, sensitive word.
|Checks to see if the same or similar mark is already registered by someone else.
||Checks to see if the proposed name of the organisation is the ‘same as’ any other existing registered organisation that appears on the index.
|Publishes the mark to allow others to oppose the registration on certain legal grounds.
||Issues a certificate to confirm the registration.
|Acceptable marks are added to the register of trade marks.
||Registered names are added to the register of companies which is available to the public.