Can a political party name be trademarked in the United Kingdom?

I appreciate that the name could be registered with the Electoral Commission, but the application process for that requires at least two applicants. Also, it would not stop the party name being used in areas outside the Electoral Commission's remit.

1 Answer 1


UK-based answer:

Trademark is a type of protection that prevents others from selling products similar to yours with your trademark.

So if a political party had a business selling T-shirts, sure it could trademark its name for the purposes of a clothes brand, and have protection there.

But could it trademark its name to prevent other political parties to have the same name? No, because political activity isn't a business activity.

Take note that owning a trademark doesn't prevent people from writing down your name or whatever. (In fact, defamation law doesn't apply to political parties, so you can say whatever you want about them.)

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    Defamation law most definitely does apply to political parties.
    – Dale M
    Oct 18, 2017 at 10:41
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    Not in the UK, according to Goldsmith v Bhoyrul [1998] Q.B. 459. To summarize: Government bodies are unable to sure for defamation, and this equally applies to any electable political party. However it is important to note that a politician/civil servant can sue for defamation if the libel/slander is defaming him in his personal capacity, rather than political capacity Oct 18, 2017 at 12:29
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    I should clarify that they can still be sued by others if they defame others. Its just that a political party itself doesnt have the right to sue for defamation Oct 18, 2017 at 12:54
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    Australian politicians can sue for defamation in office abc.net.au/news/2015-06-30/…
    – Dale M
    Oct 18, 2017 at 19:04
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    The question is on the UK. So i thought implied in my answer is that it only regards UK law. I'll clarify in my answer. Oct 18, 2017 at 21:34

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