Trademark registration in the United Kingdom - The ultimate guide

Find out everything about the application process, costs and time required to register your trademark in the UK.

In which country do you want to register your trademark?

United Kingdom

Why register a trademark in the UK? 

A UK trademark grants legal protection to its owner against infringement when doing business in the 6th largest economy in the world. More than 150,000 trademark applications are filed in the UK each year, making it a competitive market that encourages businesses to evaluate their brand strategy. Moreover, after BREXIT, new EU trademarks are no longer valid in the UK, making a UK trademark a sensible choice for brands that want to do business internationally.

How long does it take to register a trademark in the UK?

Based on our data, the trademark will be registered in 5 months after applying on average, provided it has not been objected to or opposed by other trademark owners.

However, it's worth mentioning that if the registration is successful, the validity of the trademark will retroactively count from the filing date and not the registration date. This difference is more than a mere technicality as it, for example, allows trademark owners to challenge competing similar marks filed after theirs.

Which body registers trademarks in the UK?

In the UK, the body that registers trademarks is the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).

You can also apply for a UK trademark through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); however, the multi-country application WIPO offers must be based on an existing trademark registered on a national level in one of the countries included in WIPO's list (called the "Madrid system").

What is the cost of trademark registration in the UK?

The base fee for trademark registration in the UK is £170 for online applications and £200 for paper applications. This base fee includes one class of goods and services (What are classes of goods and services?) Each additional class is £50; a fee for an international application is £40 plus additional WIPO fees.

The UKIPO also offers a Right Start application for a £200 base price. Here, you pay half the fee upfront and receive an examination report prepared directly by the UKIPO. Then, if your mark meets the criteria for registration and you're allowed to proceed in the process, you pay the second half of the fee. (It's worth mentioning that applications that pass this examination are still not exempt from oppositions raised later in the process - more on that in What does the trademark registration process in the UK look like?).

One class

Each additional class

Standard application (online)



Standard application (paper)



Right Start application (online)



It should be noted that these costs cover only the fees paid to the UKIPO and do not include legal (attorney) fees for filing a UK application. You don't necessarily need a legal representative to file your trademark, but some restrictions apply, which we describe in the following section:

Who can register a trademark in the UK?

For filing a trademark in the United Kingdom, it is not mandatory to be a citizen or resident of the country. Foreign applicants are allowed to file and seek registration for their trademark as long as they run commercial operations in the UK. However, they are required to have a postal address within the UK for the purpose of communicating with the UKIPO, or they should have a representative with an address in the United Kingdom.

For foreign applicants residing outside the United Kingdom, it is recommended to perform the trademark prosecution in the UK through an agent, a registered UK trademark attorney. Having a local representative can significantly reduce the time and cost of the application procedure.

How is trademark priority in the UK determined?

The United Kingdom is a so-called First-to-File country, meaning the UKIPO grants trademark rights to the first entity to file an application instead of the first entity using the trademark in commerce.

What does the trademark registration process in the UK look like?

After filing your application with the UKIPO, it will go through several stages:

  1. Examination (2 weeks)

  2. UKIPO Register Search (2-3 weeks)

  3. Publication for oppositions (2 months)

  4. Registration (2 weeks) 


The UKIPO reviews an application within 2 weeks of submission. During this stage, the office examines the formal aspects of the application, such as preventing the use of offensive words or ensuring that a citizen or an authorised representative files the application. The distinctiveness of the trademark in question is also assessed at this point.

UKIPO Register Search

After complying with all regulatory guidelines, UKIPO conducts a search for similar trademarks within its database. If a similar trademark is found, UKIPO contacts the existing trademark owner, who can come forward during the opposition window. UKIPO doesn't block applications if a potential similarity is found.

Publication for oppositions

The application is published in the Trademarks Journal and can be challenged by owners of similar trademarks, but also the general public (however, UKIPO is not bound to act on third-party observations).

On average, oppositions are raised in approximately 5% of the cases, but if they occur, the proceedings can significantly prolong the process. You can read more about the trademark opposition process in the UK in our article What happens if someone opposes your trademark? (UK).


If there are no unresolved oppositions, the trademark will be officially registered within two weeks, and the owner will receive the trademark certificate.

Does the UKIPO stop the application if it finds a similar already registered trademark?

As mentioned above, the UKIPO doesn't consider the existence of similar trademarks grounds for application dismissal. Instead, it will flag the application and ask if you wish to proceed with the registration. However, it also notifies the owners of earlier similar marks, who can decide whether they want to raise an opposition.

How long does a trademark last in the UK? How can I renew my UK trademark?

A UK trademark is valid for 10 years, after which it can be renewed an unlimited number of times. You can renew your trademark online or via post. You can request the renewal 6 months before the expiration date and up to 6 months afterwards.

If you miss the window entirely, it may still be possible to restore your trademark, but you can apply only by post and have to pay an additional fee of £50.

UK trademark renewal costs £200 for the first class of goods or services and £50 for each extra class. It is possible to reduce the number of classes at the time of renewal but not to add more (since this would expand your legal protection and possibly infringe on someone else's trademark, a new examination would need to be carried out).

What does BREXIT mean for UK and EU trademarks?

The UKIPO has automatically created "comparable UK trademarks", which are duplicates of all EU trademarks registered before December 31st, 2020. These separate UK trademarks have been created free of charge, but if the rights owners choose to renew them in the future, a standard renewal rate will apply. Comparable UK trademarks have kept the original EUTM filing date.

For applications that were pending as of January 1st, 2021, the owners could apply for re-filing in the UK until September 30th, 2021. But other than this exception, EU trademarks registered after January 1st, 2021 are no longer valid in the UK.

Many business owners now opt for dual filing, often with the help of the Madrid system. This has led to a 43% increase in trademark applications in 2021/2022, as reported by the UKIPO.

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