The trade mark registration process is relatively straight forward.
The first part of any application is for the registrar to consider whether the requirements for registering the mark are met. The most important ground being that it must be “A sign that can be represented graphically that is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from another.” The other criteria are contained in sections 3 and 5 of the Trade Marks Act 1994 and they are the absolute and relative grounds for refusal. The registrar will consider these grounds when examining the application and decide whether the requirements have been met.
If the requirements above are met, the next step of the process is for the registrar to publish the mark in the Trade Marks Journal for a period of two months. This gives existing rights holders the opportunity to object to the registration of the mark if they feel the mark is identical or similar to their earlier mark. If no opposition is raised within the two months, the trademark will be granted to the applicant. A certificate will be issued.
If any of the requirements are not met or identical or similar marks exist then it is more than likely that the application will be refused. The registrar allows for the applicant to make amendments to the application or make representations so that the application may go forward, otherwise it will be the end of the line for the mark.
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