• Careers
  • Contact Us
Brand & Trade Mark Protection

Brand & Trade Mark Protection

Brand and Trade Mark Protection for Independent schools

Your school's principal trade marks are likely to be its name and crest. The misuse of these valuable trade marks by others could jeopardise your school's reputation, both within the UK and internationally. The registration of your school's name and crest as trade marks is an important step in deterring and preventing misuse. We can help you to register, protect and enforce your trademarks in the UK and internationally.

Quick Enquiry

School Trade Mark Registration and Protection

There are many reasons why schools protect their trade marks including:

  • A trade mark registration will enable a school to protect your valuable reputation and stop a third party from using a similar trade mark in connection with education and related services.

  • Although unregistered trade mark rights will arise through the use of a trade mark, enforcing those unregistered rights against an infringing party (under the law of passing off) is complicated, limited in scope and often expensive. The cost of a pre-emptive trade mark registration is likely to be significantly less than the legal costs and management time that can accrue in trying to protect a school's reputation from damage when an unregistered trade mark is abused.

  • Charity trustees are under a duty to protect the assets and reputation of the charity. This includes trade marks (such as the school name and crest), particularly as these are open to abuse by third parties. In the same way that trustees should not leave buildings uninsured, so should the charity's public reputation be protected. As part of this duty, trustees are expected to take reasonable steps to protect the charity's trade marks and should consider registration carefully.

  • A trade mark registration will enable a school to control the manufacture and supply (and income stream thereby generated) of branded products such as stationery and school uniform.

  • A trade mark registration is a very useful tool when combating internet abuse. We frequently shut down websites and remove abusive content from social media on the basis of trade mark registrations.

  • Trade mark protection is a vital step to take when considering an international school project.  Protecting the school's trade marks at an early stage will enable your school to control the use made of its trade marks in the particular territory and ensure that the school retains control over the use made of its valuable reputation. Further information on international trade mark protection.

  • Once a trade mark is registered, the school will be able to use the ® symbol with the trade mark. This demonstrates that the school has taken the important step of registering its trade mark, and acts as a deterrent to would-be infringers.

Experienced Trade Mark Lawyers

It is not always straightforward to register a school name as a trade mark, as school names are often descriptive of an educational institution in a particular locality. Our trade mark lawyers have an excellent record of successfully registering such descriptive trade marks, based on the school's long-established use of the school name.

There are special rules relating to applications to register heraldic devices (such as crests) as trade marks. Our trade mark lawyers are very experienced in dealing with these rules and will be happy to review your crest and advise you whether they apply.

To discuss how our education lawyers can help you, please contact Barney Northover on 0117 314 5395.

VWV's education practice enjoys a stellar reputation in the market as a one-stop shop.

  • Education quote
  • Chambers & Partners legal directory

Leave a message

First Name(*)
Please enter your first name.

Last Name(*)
Invalid Input

Email address(*)
Please enter a valid email address

Please insert your telephone number.

How would you like us to contact you?(*)

Invalid Input

Brief details of your enquiry(*)
Please enter your message.


See our privacy page to find out how we use and protect your data.

Invalid Input

Meet the Team

Our independent schools lawyers have a broad variety of legal expertise and offer a full legal service to the independent schools sector

View All
Barney Northover - Independent Schools Partner & Education Lawyer at VWV

Independent Schools

Charity Law


Simon Bevan - Partner at VWV

Employment Law

Independent Schools

Tabitha Cave - Partner at VWV

News & Events

Thinking of Divorcing? How a No-Deal Brexit Could Impact Your Divorce
Did you know when voting in the 2016 EU referendum that leaving the EU with a no deal could result in your divorce no longer being recognised in other EU member states?
11 Feb 2019
Immigration Essentials for Independent Schools - Bristol
A seminar for key personnel – Authorising Officers, Key Contacts, Level 1 and 2 users of the sponsor management system.
6 Jun 2019
Effective Safeguarding for Governors - London
This training, specifically aimed at governors, will provide essential information about current best practice expectations.
15 May 2019