Can you alter a trademark after it has been registered?

Yes, it is possible to alter a trademark after it has been registered in the UK. However, the ability to change a registered trademark depends on the nature of the alteration you want to make and whether it affects the mark's distinctive character.


In the UK, you can typically make changes to a registered trademark by filing an application to amend the mark with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The IPO will review the proposed changes to determine whether they are acceptable.


Minor alterations, such as changes to the spelling, font, or colour of the mark, are generally permissible as long as they do not significantly affect the overall identity or distinctiveness of the mark. In such cases, the IPO may require the submission of a request to amend the trademark registration along with supporting evidence or a new representation of the mark.


However, substantial changes that alter the essential characteristics of the mark, such as a complete change in the wording or design, may not be allowed. Making significant changes to a registered trademark typically requires filing a new application for registration rather than amending the existing registration.


Here are some examples of what can typically be modified:


Name and address: You can update the name and address of the trademark owner or representative. This is useful in case of changes in ownership or contact information.


Goods and services: You can make changes to the list of goods and services associated with the trademark. This includes adding or removing specific goods or services, as long as they fall within the same class or classes for which the mark was originally registered. If you wish to add goods or services that are closely related to the existing registered goods or services, you may be able to do so through a process called "expansion" or "accretion". Expansion allows for the inclusion of goods or services that are considered similar or allied to the existing ones, without altering the fundamental character of the mark.


Representation of the mark: You can make alterations to the graphical representation of the mark, such as changes to the font, colour, or stylisation. However, significant changes that substantially alter the mark’s distinctive character may not be permitted.


Disclaimers: You can add or remove disclaimers, which are statements that clarify that certain elements of the mark are not claimed as exclusive rights. Disclaimers are often used when a mark contains descriptive or generic terms.