License, mortgage, transfer, merge and market your trade mark

Benefit from your trade mark by licensing, mortgaging, selling, transferring ownership, merging and exploit by marketing.

License your trade mark

A licence gives you permission to use someone else’s trade marks. The terms of the licence are between you and the licensor. We do not have any powers to investigate the validity of any licence you might agree.

IP BASICS: Should I license or franchise my Intellectual Property?

You or the licensor should use the form TM50 to tell us about the licence. We will record the details on the trade marks register.

When your licence agreement ends or the licensees details are changed you should use the form TM51. We will update this on the register.

We will record, amend or cancel your licence and send written confirmation to you.

Transfer ownership of a trade mark

You must notify us of any change in trade mark ownership, including that as a result of a company merger.

Register a ‘full’ or ‘partial’ transfer of ownership by completing the appropriate form:

  • full transfer: form 16 ‘Application to record a change of ownership’
  • partial transfer: form TM16P ‘Application to record a partial assignment of goods and/or services’

Note: ‘Assignment’ is the legal term for a transfer of ownership.

We will record the details of the assignment in the register of trade marks and write to confirm that we have done so.

Register for eAlerts to receive email notifications of specific events relating to:

  • a UK trade mark
  • an international registration designating the UK

Mortgage your trade mark

You can use your trade mark as security for a loan. The mortgagor has a legal right in your trade mark until you repay the loan. You or your mortgagor should register the mortgage (security interest) with us on form TM24. We will then record it in the register. When it has been repaid we can cancel the details from the register.

You can cancel the ‘security interest’ from our register by filing form TM24C.

Registrable transactions in a registered trade mark

If you have a financial interest in a registered trade mark, you can apply to have the details of your claim entered in the register of trade marks. Your claim may be in respect of a mortgage or debenture loaned against the mark or some other form of security interest. Entries onto the register can also relate to orders from a Court or other competent authority that transfer ownership of the mark.

You can view all such transactions in the register of trade marks.

You must fill in and send us a form TM24, ‘Application to record or amend a security interest’ or TM24C ‘Application to cancel a security interest’.

Merge your trade marks

Benefit from merging your trade marks by filing a form TM17.

You can merge identical trade marks to form one trade mark which contains the classes from all of the trade marks that have been merged. Merging your trade marks means that you only need to renew the surviving trade mark.

You can merge your trade marks if;

  • they are all registered
  • they are all identical
  • they all have the same filing date
  • they are the all the same type of trade mark
  • they are all in the same ownership

Market your trade mark

You may want to involve others to help exploit, develop or market your design. We do not give direct advice on this, but help is available from the following organisations.

National advice

Chamber of Commerce offers a comprehensive range of cost effective business services.

Regional advice

Scottish Enterprise offers practical advice on developing new ideas.

Invest Northern Ireland offers advice and assistance on innovation and entrepreneurship.

If you licence or sell your trade mark, you must tell us so that we can update our records.

Professional advice

Legal professionals who specialise in IP are useful in helping you to understand, obtain and defend your IP rights. Details of professionals in your area can be obtained from any of the following organisations:

Other sources of advice include:

  • NESTA,The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts provide a useful handbook on invention and innovation

There are a number of other organisations geared specifically to helping inventors, especially lone inventors, to bring their ideas to market, and to provide advice on finding financial assistance. For example, The Institute of Patentees and Inventors is a non-profit making organisation that specifically helps lone inventors.

Published 26 September 2014
Last updated 22 February 2016 + show all updates
  1. Video added to guide 'IP BASICS: Should I license or franchise my Intellectual Property?'.
  2. First published.