If the applicant does not meet the filing requirements, the UKIPO sends them a letter articulating why the application is not acceptable. The former is given one month to remedy the deficiency; the time period runs from the date the latter issues the deficiency letter and cannot be extended (Rule 77). The letter is issued in accordance with the provisions of Rule 13 (or Rule 11 if the applicant does not have an address for service in the UK). In the event the deficiency is not remedied within the one month period, the application will either be:
- construed as never to have been made in relation to the essential requirements; or
- regarded as withdrawn in respect of non-essential filing requirements.
The UKIPO examines the information on the application form to make sure that it is consistent and logical. If there are any inconsistencies, they try and resolve them over the phone by contacting the applicant or their representative. It is imperative the applicant appreciates that it is their responsibility to ensure that the application form has been filled out correctly.
A mark type is allocated to every application by the administrative team which facilitates the search for similar marks. If the applicant fails to clearly state the mark type on the form, the UKIPO rectifies this oversight before recording the pertinent information. The applicant must note that the UKIPO may refuse any request to correct the said mistake at a later stage.
In order to secure a filing date, a representation of the mark must be furnished by the applicant. A graphical representation of the mark must be ‘clear, precise, self-contained, easily accessible, durable and objective’ (see Sieckmann, ECJ case C-273/00). If the applicant does not adhere to this condition, the UKIPO will deem this to be a filing deficiency and an acceptable representation would need to be filed within the prescribed one-month period. The filing date will consequently be the date when the UKIPO receives the satisfactory representation.