Nancy’s Guide to Trademarks and Patents

Nancy wants to trademark her band's name


Nancy-7Throughout Nancy and the Meerkats journey to the top of the charts with their first record “Put Your Paws Up” they have to make sure that all their ideas are protected by copyright, trade marks and patents.

Here’s how they work…


Protect words, names, symbols, sounds or colours that distinguish goods and services in the market place. They can last indefinitely if renewed every ten years; they protect reputations and brand values and are used as a marketing tool to promote products and services. Registered trade marks as indentified by the symbol ®.

Click here to find out more!


Design relates to the overall appearance of an item, the way it looks, its eye appeal! This includes every discernable feature, such as its lines, contours, colours, shape, texture, materials and decoration. Anything which gives a product its unique appearance. When renewed every 5 years the protection can last for a maximum of 25 years.

Click here to find out more!


Copyright is an automatic right; you don’t have to apply for it. It protects creative works such as literary, dramatic, musical and artistic along with sound recordings, films, broadcasts and websites. The copyright owner can prevent others copying or adapting the work without their permission. To protect your creativity it is advisable to mark the work with the © symbol, the name of the copyright owner and the date it is created.

Click here to find out more!


Patents protect inventions. How they work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. They have to be novel or new and involve a technical step. If they are renewed every year they will last for 20 years, and will prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without the owner’s permission.

Click here to find out more!

Want to see some great British inventions that are protected by patent? Click here to see an interactive map of British inventions!

Nancy and the Meerkats is supported by the Intellectual Property Office. Click here to find out more!