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UK Trademark Registration Process

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Registering a trademark in the UK involves five major steps. These steps are explained as follows:

Step 1: Trademark Search

Before a trademark application is filed, it is good to conduct a trademark search. This is an important step, and a professional help may be required.

Step 2: Filing a trademark application

To start this second step, some things are required. They are:

  • A trademark name
  • A digital copy of the trademark logo
  • The name of the applicant and address of the company or legal entity
  • A list of all goods and/or services that the trademark is used for or proposed to be used for.

Furthermore, if the trademark application has been filed in other countries, it is necessary to provide the date and country of first filing and the application number.

Electronic submission of the application is done after the applicant approves it. 2-4 days after filing the application, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) will issue an official filing receipt. The filing date and application number are written on the filing receipt.

Step 3: Examining the application

The reviewing or examining of a UK trademark application takes between 5 and 15 days, and it is done on two grounds: Relative grounds and Absolute grounds.

Under relative grounds, the Examiner searches trademarks previously registered or filed in the UK. If the Examiner discovers that the newly filed trademark is similar to a previously registered or filed trademark, he/she will inform the applicant. Under absolute grounds, the Examiner decides if the filed mark is non-distinctive or descriptive and if the trademark is offensive or immoral.

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Sometimes, the Examiner will ask applicants to re-specify the goods and/or services if they are unclear. The applicant is given a certain period to respond to any objections raised by the examiner.

Step 4: Publication

After examining the application, it is published in the online UK Trade Mark Journal for two months (also called the opposition period) in order to give third parties a chance to file an opposition on the ground of prior unregistered or registered rights, bad faith and descriptiveness.  One extra month may be granted to resolve oppositions that were raised during the two-month period.

Step 5: Registration

The UK IPO usually issues a paper registration certificate to an applicant two weeks after publication. The trademark registration details and date are printed on the certificate.

After registration, the ® symbol can be used as an indication that the trademark is registered. Registered UK trademark owners may also use the following statement to alert others to their trademark rights:

 “[YOUR TRADE MARK] is a Registered UK Trade Mark of [PROPRIETOR]”

A UK trademark registration must be renewed every 10 years by their owners. If a UK trademark is unused for five years after it was registered, its registration can be revoked or canceled.

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