A trademark search is usually undertaken before filing to see if mark is available for use and registration. This is an optional step.
The application is prepared and submitted to the relevant Intellectual Property Office, (the UKIPO in the UK) and filing fees are paid.
Once an application is submitted, it is examined by the Intellectual Property Office to see if it meets the necessary filing requirements.
If it does not, the Examiner will issue objections in their Examination Report, for example if there are any problems with the mark itself or the goods and services of the mark (usually within two weeks of filing however this can take up to 12 weeks). The application cannot proceed until these issues are rectified and can be refused if the objections are upheld.
If the mark meets the filing requirements, it is then accepted and published for opposition purposes in the Trade Marks Journal.
An application is published so that third parties can challenge if they feel it is identical or confusingly similar to their own. In the UK, there is two month mandatory opposition period (which can be extended by one further month).
A third party files an opposition against the application.
No oppositions are filed, and the opposition window passes without issue.
Opposition proceeding unsuccessful, the application will be registered.
Opposition proceeding successful, the application will be refused. Can also seek settlement with whomever filed the opposition.
If the opposition period passes without issue, then the mark will be registered shortly after the end of the opposition period and a shiny registration certificate will be issued by the UKIPO. The whole process should take four to six months on average (provided there are no issues or objections raised).
Once registered, a trademark will last for 10 years from the application date. This registration can be renewed indefinitely every 10 years subject to the payment of renewal fees.
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