The essential function of the trade mark is to guarantee the origin of goods and services. 

The laws that make up trade mark legislation in the United Kingdom (UK) are extensive and are covered by the Trade Marks Act 1994. The Act was introduced to give effect to the EU Trade Marks Directive of 21 December 1988.

What is a trade mark?

The essential function of the trade mark is to guarantee the origin of goods and services.  

A trade mark is defined in the Trade Marks Directive as ‘any sign capable of being represented graphically, particularly words, including personal names, designs, letters, numerals, the shape of goods or of their packaging, provided that such signs are capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one undertaking from those of other undertaking’. These are often referred to as either ‘word marks’, usually a single word or a grouping of words (e.g. ‘thank you’) or ‘figurative marks’, such as a logo.

There are also two principal kinds of registered trade mark under UK law: UK trade marks and Community Trade Marks (CTMs). UK marks only cover the UK, while CTMs cover the whole of the EU.

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