Applying is a process of completing the IPOs official form, choosing the goods and services the Trade Mark is to be used for and selecting the appropriate examination service.
The application process has three distinct phases :
Data capture – the IPO captures the application details and publishes them on their website.
Examination – if the application is acceptable and searches for identical/similar Trade Marks.
Publication - once accepted, the application is published and are then open to opposition.
Once the UK IPO receives the application, it will : insert the application onto their database and make application open to the public. Issue a filing receipt which includes the application number and the ‘filing date’ of the application.
An examiner then examines the application based on the requirements of the Trade Marks act rules and within 20 days issues the examination report.
The examination report confirms if the application has been accepted or advise of any objections or other queries the examiner has, including the deadline in which objections etc must be replied too. If there are earlier Trade Marks that are the same or similar etc, these will be highlighted in the examination report.
If the application is accepted, the application will be published in the Trade Mark journal for two months.
During this time, which is called the opposition period, another party can oppose the application. The opposition period can be extended to 3 months by anyone considering opposition.
If the application is opposed, and the opponent is successful, this could result in the mark not being registered and paying costs to the opponent.
If no one opposes the application, the Trade Mark will become registered approximately two weeks after the opposition period ends. This is called the registration date.
The IPO will then issue a registration certificate which includes the registration number and the ‘registration date’.