TRADE MARK UK

UK Trade mark procedure: from application to registration

The first stage is to complete and file the application form and pay the applicable fee. The fee varies depending on the amount of classes under which protection is sought.

Once the application is filed, the mark will then be put before an Examiner who will then assess the mark against the criteria for registration. The Examiner does not, at this stage, assess whether the mark complies with the relative grounds (previously this was the case).

If the mark is accepted by the Examiner as meeting the relevant requirements, the mark will then be put forward to the Publication stage. The Publication stage generally lasts for a period of two months. The purpose of the Publication stage is to allow other earlier rights holders the opportunity to assess whether the mark conflicts with their mark in terms of the absolute grounds. If the wish to challenge the mark then the earlier rights holder may file an opposition.

If after the end of the Publication period there are no outstanding oppositions under the mark, the Registry will put the mark through to Registration, at which point, the mark will be registered and a Trade Mark Certificate issued.

The mark will last for 10 years and can be renewed for an unlimited number of further 10 year periods.

There are many potential pitfalls to an application such as the absolute and relative grounds for refusal. Care should be taken before filing you mark(s) and a trade mark search is advisable.

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