HM Insights

What is a series of trade marks?

Where a number of trade marks have closely resemble each other, and the differences between them do not affect the distinctive character or identity of the trade mark, it is possible to file an application for a series of trade marks. 

Trade Mark Graphic

In other words, the overall impression of the marks should be the same, in particular:

• the marks should resemble each other in their material details, whether visually, phonetically or aurally, • the differences should be non-distinctive in nature and should not affect the identity of the trade mark

An application can include a maximum of six marks. If the application is for a series, the UK IPO will allocate the mark type which describes the most complex mark in the series. The first and second marks are included in the initial application fee, any additional marks thereafter attract a fee (£50 per additional mark).

Examples of what would be considered a series

The definition goes something like this: The same word in different scripts or fonts, or underlined, or not-underlined, differences in upper and lower case, or punctuation, which does not lead to the component words in the mark being perceived or produced differently, or if colour is only a subordinate feature of the mark, variations in colour may form a series. 

However, it's simpler to illustrate this. So for example, the following marks would be considered a series:

Trade Mark Examples 1

Examples of what would not be considered a series:

Trade Mark Examples 2

Trade Mark Series

The first two characters have the same visual features, the character wearing a cape in slightly different stances. The third mark in this series consists of the character, with a musical instrument.  The additional feature gives the third mark greater distinctive character than the earlier two marks and therefore this would not be considered a series.