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Lockhart & Hastings is an Intellectual Properties Consultancy – specialising in Trade Marks, Registered Designs, Copyright, Patent Search and IP Common Law

With over 30 years experience working in Intellectual Properties, we can help you with both research and legal protection in the UK, Europe and beyond. As experienced specialists we can offer you insight on how to protect your ideas, words and designs.

Intellectual Properties

We can help you with both research and legal protection

Lockhart & Hastings Ltd provide high quality Intellectual Property services covering all aspects of Trade Marks, Registered Designs, Copyright, Patent Searching and IP Common Law in the United Kingdom, Europe and internationally.

Whether you are an individual, a company or an overseas attorney, we are confident that we can provide the services you require efficiently, flexibly and cost-effectively. We are a dynamic, forward-looking firm with adaptability to suit individual client needs. We have a UK and international client base.

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Trade Marks

Your Trade Mark is a valuable asset – it’s important to get it right

A Trade Mark is like a badge of origin of the goods or services to which it is applied. Through its acquired reputation, it also becomes a badge of quality. Trade Marks are most commonly words or images (logos) or combinations of these, but they can also be shapes, sounds or scents.

Obtaining a registered Trade Mark in the UK or EU is a relatively quick and inexpensive process. We can also file internationally depending on your requirements.

A registered Trade Mark will not prevent someone copying your idea but it may;

(i) deter an offender with a warning that the Trade Mark is registered,
(ii) provide a cost-effective means of redress for such copying through the courts.

Registering your Trade Mark is relatively inexpensive set against the likely costs of taking Common Law actions where you have to prove the validity of your case – a registered Trade Mark does this for you. In that sense, registering a Trade Mark is best looked upon as a kind of insurance policy.

In defending your Trade Mark, whether it is registered or not, you may require IP (Intellectual Property) professionals to help you with monitoring and taking action when necessary. Also see our section on IP Common Law.

The UK IPO (Intellectual Property Office) encourages private applications; because of this, their Register is littered with Trade Marks of little worth. Usually, this is because the application does not adequately cover the goods or services provided.  With the advent of the internet the Trade Mark field has become more complex but common pitfalls can be easily and inexpensively avoided by consulting IP professionals like ourselves from the outset.

Please see our FAQ section for a short video about Trade Mark registration and the benefits of professional advice.

WATCH THE VIDEO

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Registered Designs

Registered Designs can protect the specific look of an object ...

We have filed Registered Designs, in many countries across the world, but most commonly in the UK and the EU (Registered Community Design) and we are happy to advise on all aspects of this Intellectual Property.

Registered Designs can protect the distinctive design of an item, which is not eligible for Patent protection. This means for example that you probably have not invented a better cup, but your design is unique. Registered Designs are an easy and inexpensive way of gaining protection for these designs and they are mostly relevant to industrial or manufactured goods.

A UK Registered Design or a Registered Community Design (RCD) can protect you in the UK. Through a RCD you could extend your registered design rights to a number of other countries under The Hague Convention. Registered Designs are sometimes called ‘Industrial Designs’, ‘Design Patents’ or ‘Utility Models’.

The Community Design Directive of 1998 (98/79/EC) extended Registered Design rights into areas that might commonly be considered Trade Marks. It is important to note that they are not a cheaper form of Trade Mark as the extent and scope of the protection is very different.

We also provide Registered Designs searches, chiefly through the databases of the UK IPO, the EU IPO (RCD and DesignView) and WIPO (Hague Convention), since these are most relevant to the UK market. Other countries can be searched where there is a suitable database.

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IP Common Law

Our experience in information fields is invaluable in Common Law searching

The UK and Ireland are Common Law jurisdictions. Not all Trade Marks are registered and one that isn’t may be covered by Common Law. Therefore a comprehensive Trade Mark search should also cover Common Law sources.

Having a background in librarianship and information science, we are resourceful in the conduct of Intellectual Property searches outside of the mainstream Trade Mark & Patent literature. Obviously the British Library is most heavily used for this, but other collections might be tapped as relevant to a particular search (for example Imperial College offers open access to a wider range of textbooks than the 8-10 years available on the open shelves at the British Library).

For reasons of space we donated our substantial collection of British mail-order catalogues (dating from the early 1980s) to the National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum when we moved out of London in 2008. These are invaluable in demonstrating the use of a Trade Mark or a particular design, and also in their invalidation. They included catalogues from firms such as Freemans, GUS, Kays, Littlewoods and Trafford’s amongst others. The British Library took our Argos catalogues to improve their existing collection.

We also carry out watch-searches against the Companies House database for a number of clients, enabling early action against potential trespassers on their IP rights.

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FAQ

Our answers to some common Intellectual Properties questions:

Why should I take professional advice about my Trade Mark?

Many privately filed trade marks don't achieve the protection that was hoped for. This two minute video from CITMA (Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys), explains the value of taking professional advice. 

See our section on Trade Marks for more information or contact us about getting your trade mark registered.

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How will Brexit affect my Intellectual Properties?

The first point to emphasise is that it’s business as usual and Trade Mark and Design owners should not panic – European Union Trade Marks (EUTM) and Registered Community Designs (RCD) remain valid in the UK and there is no immediate loss of IP protection.

Once we actually leave the EU, that position will change, but that is to be clarified in the future. Meanwhile, the many UK companies and traders who have only filed EU Trade Marks should consider filing for a UK Trade Mark; these are inexpensive and quick to register, but don’t delay.

See our PDF fact sheet for more information, or contact us if you want to register a trade mark in the UK.

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How do I copyright my trademark?

Generally the public doesn’t have a good understanding of intellectual properties. The language people use is often imprecise and frequently confuses copyright, trademarks and patents. This isn’t a problem and it can all be clarified. Briefly, a patent is for an invention, something novel; a trade mark is what you call your product when marketing it or a logo to that end, and copyright is complex.

See our sections on Trade Marks, Copyright, and Patents for general guidance or contact us if you have a specific enquiry.

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Does my website domain name offer me any protection?

A domain name does not protect your business name – a registered trade mark does.

Domain names have always been a weak intellectual property, and as they proliferate with the new gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domains) that is more so. Domain registrars are commercial businesses who will happily offer someone your-business.com even though you have registered yourbusiness.com. If your business name isn't a registered trade mark it is very difficult to prevent infringement. However, in the event that a domain name conflict is a commercial problem for you, there are procedures for taking down or transferring a domain name. Please contact us if you need further advice on this.

In contrast a registered trade mark is granted by a government body who carry out an examination of new applications against prior rights, although the owner of those rights may have to monitor and take action against such applications.

Register your trade mark if you want to protect your business name. See our section on Trade Marks for more information or contact us about getting your trade mark registered.

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Should I bother with the new gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domains)?

Generally speaking we advise to have as few domain names as possible. You need a policy on which domain names you need and a monitoring and review process to maintain them.

There are more than 1,000 Top Level Domains now available and ICANN is considering more.

.com (Commercial) is still the most favoured by businesses as well as its UK equivalent – .co.uk

If you a trading outside the UK a domain for that locality may be worthwhile, e.g. – .fr or .eu

.org is the international domain for organisations – .org.uk for UK organisations.

Some of the new commercially owned gTLDs might be of interest to a business for marketing purposes, e.g. – .london might be useful to a business based there, and one of our clients has opted for the quirky .kiwi because it suits their business. We generally notify our clients of the sunrise periods (when trade mark owners can stake their claim to a domain name) that might be of specific interest to them.

The best way of protecting your business is to register your trade mark. See our section on Trade Marks for more information or contact us about getting your trade mark registered.

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What about China?

China is a huge, exciting and expanding market. Despite what is said of it as ‘the wild east’, it is rapidly catching up on intellectual properties, because, like Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea before them, it is now their IP that is under threat.

Registration of a trade mark in China is relatively straight forward and inexpensive. We work with associates in China and Hong Kong who advise us of the detail and issues as they come up. It is a learning process, which we share with our clients.

We have been filing and defending trade marks in China through our associates for many years, and it has been an increasing area of our work. If China is of interest to you please see our PDF fact sheet or contact us if have a specific enquiry.

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What if my question isn’t listed here?

Please feel free to contact us and we’ll discuss the issue with you.

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Lockhart & Hastings Ltd

Intellectual Properties Consultancy

Lockhart & Hastings Ltd was established by Stewart Rayment in 2008, taking its name from two of the London streets in which the company had offices at that time. By coincidence the company moved to Hastings on the south coast of England in 2010.

Stewart Rayment has worked in intellectual properties for over 30 years. His first job was with the Trade Mark searching firm S. E. Kingsley & Co.  Prior to this he had worked in librarianship and studied at the London School of Economics.

He become a partner in the IP firm Kingsley & Talboys in 1990. He moved into Design, Patent and Common Law searching as well as Trade Marks, which took on an increasingly international dimension. He also started filing Trade Marks and Registered Designs, in the UK, EU and worldwide.

Stewart has been a student member of the Education Committee of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) and acted as their in-house ‘paparazzi’ for many years – having a camera to hand has always been a valuable tool in IP investigation!

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Lockhart & Hastings Ltd

29 St Helen’s Crescent, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 2EN

Registered in England No: 07644260 Registered office as above
VAT Registration No: 174 8180 87

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