How to register a UK trade mark without a lawyer

It is sometimes thought that a solicitor or trade mark attorney must be instructed to register a trade mark. While this is a misconception, anyone thinking of applying to register a mark without a lawyer would do well to study the legal and procedural issues, as there are plenty of pitfalls for the unwary.

Should I instruct a lawyer, or use a template?

I'm often asked whether a lawyer is needed for a particular contract job, or whether a template document would be adequate. It can be a frustratingly difficult question to answer. In seeking out legal services, small businesses usually want reassurance that they are "covered" for legal risks, but aren't necessarily interested in learning about the exact nature of those risks. However, all business involves risk, and no contract is perfect.

Marketplace websites and UK regulations

I've just finished working on a new template terms and conditions of use document for marketplace-type websites. This process has not been as straightforward as it should have been. Both the Ecommerce Regulations and the Distance Selling Regulations are poor fit for this kind of website, because of the range of different contractual relationships that this kind of website can give rise to.

Legal notice generators

We have just published two new legal notice generators: a privacy policy generator and a website disclaimer generator. These generators will be available for free on our website for a limited period (to be determined). The legal notice generators should make creating new legal documents for a simple website even easier.

What legal documents do I need for my new website?

Website legal documents are like vitamins: you know they're good for you, but you probably don't know exactly what they do. With a bit of research you could find out what they do - but, let's face it, even lawyers can find legal research a little boring.

Choosing a solicitor

How should you go about choosing a commercial solicitor? At a minimum, you should be looking for someone who is expert in the relevant area of law, works efficiently, avoids errors, is able to communicate effectively with everyone else involved in the matter and produces documents and performs other work promptly and in accordance with any agreed or imposed timetable.

Distance Selling Regulations: right of cancellation

All online traders in the UK and wider EU should know about the right to cancel distance contracts available under the Distance Selling Directive. This Directive was implemented in the UK by the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 (the “Distance Selling Regulations”), which came into force on 31 October 2000. The Regulations were subsequently amended by the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) (Amendments) Regulations in 2005.

AdWords and trade marks: the current position

When you search the internet using Google, you get two types of results: “organic” results determined by the Google algorithm to be relevant to your query, and paid advertisements. The paid advertisements appear where an advertiser has bid on keywords relating to the search terms - i.e. has agreed to pay Google in respect of user clicks resulting from the appearance of the advertisement in search engine results pages relating to those keywords. This is a form of “pay-per-click” advertising. Where an advertiser uses keywords that are identical or similar to another company's trade marks, there is an obvious risk of conflict.