Registering a trade mark is one of the most effective ways of heightening your intellectual property value yet many individuals can find the registration process rather daunting.
If you are aware of the various stages throughout the application process and have the experts assist you along the way, you will soon realise that it is quite the opposite.
Once you have decided on the trade mark you wish to file, the application will go through the following key stages:
Stage 1: Filing
Upon carrying out the relevant searches and finalising the marks word or logo, you are ready to submit the application. Whilst the application itself is fairly straightforward, it is of vital importance that all details on the application such as the class specification or mark name are accurate as once filed, these details are not amendable. Once you are completely happy with the application details, it is time to submit the filing to the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).
Stage 2: Examination
Once the application is filed, the UKIPO will allocate an examiner who will consider whether your mark is capable of being registered. The UKIPO website states that this stage takes between 5-15working days however, it is generally completed much sooner.
If the examiner finds any issues with your mark, you will have 2 months from the day of which the UKIPO send out the communication to make any amendments that are requested. We strongly recommend that you make any suggested amendments in order to ensure the mark is registrable. If however you disagree with the examiners findings, you can contact them directly to explain your reasoning. Once the examiner is satisfied that your mark does have the elements of a successful application trade mark, your application will move on to the next stage.
Stage 3 Publication and Oppositions
Once your application has successfully passed the examination stage, the mark will then move on to what is known as the publication stage. This is where the trade mark will be published in the Trade Marks Journal for a period of two months. During this two month window, other owners who believe your mark is likely to cause confusion between their existing mark can file for an opposition.
If you find that someone proceeds with filing an opposition against your mark you can either withdraw your application, contact the opposer to discuss their opposition and try and reach a solution or, formally defend against it. If the opposition is successful, your application will be refused. Do bear in mind that opposition proceedings will delay your application until they are finalised.
If you receive no oppositions during the 2 month period – congratulations! Your application has been successful and your trade mark will be added to the Trade Mark Register.
Stage 4 – Registration
Once the mark is successfully registered there is one final stage known as the ‘wrapping up period’ . This is where the examiner will update the trade mark register and generate your certificate. This will generally be sent out to you or your representatives within two weeks of the end of the publication period. Once registered you will have protection over your trade mark for 10 years, which can be renewed after this period indefinitely.
If you have any questions relating to this article or wish start the trade mark application process, contact us today where we would be happy to assist you.