Using somebody else's intellectual property

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Trade marks

To use an existing trade mark you should contact the current owner.

Find the owner of a registered trade mark by searching the trade marks database.


A licence is a formal agreement to use someone else’s trade mark. You and the owner must agree the terms of the licence, for example the cost or how long it will last.

When you’ve agreed a licence to use the trade mark, fill in the form to record a licensee and post it. The address is on the form.

Post an application to remove or amend the record of a licence when the licensing agreement ends or if you need to change it.

The owner must sign any form you send, or you must send proof of the agreement with your application.

Each application costs £50.


You must tell IPO if you become the new owner of a trade mark, for example by buying it or as the result of a company merger.

In some cases the owner may only sell you one part of a trade mark, for example they may not sell the right to register derivative marks. This is known as a ‘partial assignment’.

Use either:

Each application costs £50.

Fill in the form and post it. The address is on the form.

Coexistence agreements

You may be able to use an identical trade mark (for example company name, logo) as someone else by making a coexistence agreement.

This means you agree that both of you can continue to use the trade mark.