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How does our trade mark registration process work?
1. Start your application with our simple online trade mark search tool. Type in your chosen trade mark and follow the on-screen instructions to select the ‘classes’ – industries – relating to your particular business. As an example: if your business was the supply of washing machine parts, you would select ‘Machinery Products’. Do not worry at this early stage if you are not 100% sure under which classes your trade mark should be registered, once your application is submitted to our trade mark attorneys they will ensure your trade mark is fully protected for all areas of your business.
2. Submit your trade mark search - our patent pending software will do a preliminary check of the latest feeds direct from the UK and EU registries to make sure there are no obvious problems, such as another business already owning that specific trade mark for your chosen trade mark class or classes.
3. If your preliminary trade mark search is successful, the trade mark search tool will display a quote for the trade mark application fee. To proceed with your trade mark application, you’ll be asked to input your credit or debit card details. No payment will be taken at this stage – Trade Mark Direct will only charge your card once your trade mark application has passed all our checks and been submitted for registration.
4. Once your application is received, our team of specialist trade mark attorneys will make 23 separate legal checksalongside in-depth trade mark searches to ensure:
a. Your trade mark application complies with the Trade Mark Act.
b. Your trade mark application won’t face insurmountable objections from other trade mark owners on the grounds of confusing similarity.
5. If your trade mark application passes our stringent checks and searches, then we let you know our findings before we submit your application for registration. Only when your application has been satisfactorily checked and submitted will Trade Mark Direct take payment from your credit or debit card.
6. If your trade mark does not pass our checks and searches, our team will let you know exactly why the trade mark application is likely to fail in its present form and give you advice on how you could amend your application in order to successfully register a trade mark.
7. We file your application with the relevant registry:
- UK applications
You will receive email confirmation of your application’s receipt from the registry and, once processed, confirmation that payment has been received. They will also send you a copy of your application form and subsequently a filing receipt. The application will then be examined to determine whether the mark is acceptable and you will be advised of the outcome in around 20 business days.
If you wish to follow the progress of your application online at the Intellectual Property Office website by entering your application number here: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find/t-find-number.htm
All correspondence from the IPO will be sent to you directly.
Trade Mark Direct’s free advice line is available at 0800 970 9139 if you have any other queries at any stage of the application process. In the unlikely case that your application is turned down, please contact us and we will respond to the trade mark office on your behalf. We are successful in overturning the majority of initial refusals.
- EU (CTM) applications
We will send a copy of the filing receipt via email. The examiners will consider your trade mark application to determine whether the mark is acceptable and perform a search on your trade mark. A search report will then be issued which may either show no other marks or may cite other marks which the Examiner considers as being similar or identical. You do not have to do anything at this stage but if you are concerned please send us a copy of the search report by email for comment.
The next step is for the mark to be published in the Trade Marks Journal to enable any oppositions. Third parties have a period of 3 months in which to do this.
You may follow the progress of your application online at OHIM's website by entering your application number here: http://oami.europa.eu/CTMOnline/RequestManager/en_SearchBasic
Trade Mark Direct’s free advice line is available at 0800 970 9139 if you have any other queries at any stage of the application process.
A number of unsolicited letters have been sent to trade mark applicants and owners, inviting the recipient to sign and return a document along with a large fee for a specified service.
These letters and invoices may appear on the surface to be from official sources, but the companies sending them are not linked to any government or community institution. Be aware - there is no obligation to pay any fee.
If you receive a letter or invoice relating to trade mark application or ownership, check carefully to see exactly what service you are being offered, whether you want it and if it comes from an official source. If you are in any doubt please email it to us and we will be happy to help.
Here are a couple of examples of such letters that our clients have forwarded to us. Click on the images to enlarge: