Trade Marks and Trade Names in the Pharmaceutical Industry


In this article, we aim to provide general guidance on some of the key trade mark issues for pharma companies to be aware of for their medicinal branding; with a particular focus on some of the issues in the maintenance and enforcement of registered trade marks, including the potential effects of Brexit on the future of "parallel imports" and the "exhaustion" of trade mark rights. First, the application process to register a trade mark in the UK is discussed, including how this differs from the approval of medicinal branding. Next is an assessment of the risks pharma companies face in having their trademark registrations cancelled for non-use owing to what can often be a lengthy period from product conception to approval and discussion of how to overcome this. The current exhaustion regime following Brexit is outlined with discussion of what the future may hold for pharma companies grappling with parallel imports. Finally comes consideration of the issues pharma companies face when trying to enforce their trade mark registration(s) on the basis that there is a likelihood of confusion with conflicting brands, and some practical guidance to resolving such disputes.


trade marks, application, registration, revocation, Brexit, exhaustion, parallel imports, likelihood of confusion

How to Cite

Syed, K. & Jewell, C., (2023) “Trade Marks and Trade Names in the Pharmaceutical Industry”, British Journal of Pharmacy 8(1). doi:







Kashif Syed (NA)
Catherine Jewell





Creative Commons Attribution 4.0


Peer Review

This article has been peer reviewed.

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