To be accepted, your trade mark must be a
distinctive word, logo, picture or other sign that will clearly identify
your goods or service from those of other traders. Made up words, logos or
pictures are normally distinctive, unless they have become customary in your
line of trade.
You can check to see whether your proposed application is already
registered. If there are other marks on register that:
- Look the same as (or similar to) yours, for the same (or
similar) goods or services, or;
- Sounds the same as (or similar to) yours for the same (or
similar) goods or services.
Your application could be opposed at a later date.
This could mean that your mark would not be registered and you may have to
pay costs. With this in mind, it's important that you check to see whether
your trade mark isn't already being used by someone else. You can do this
Searching Trade Marks Database:
You can search a trade mark before you are
determined to file an application for trademark registration. You should be
able to get a rough idea of whether your trade mark is already registered.
You should however note that this service has not been designed as a
comprehensive trade mark search facility and should not be used to determine
conclusively whether a conflicting trade mark already exists.
To find out what class(es) of goods or services
that you want to apply for, please see
The Trade Mark Application Process:
The trademark application process can be split into
the following sections:
- Step 1: Data Capture;
- Step 2: Examination;
- Step 3: Publication.
When the application is submitted, the competent
trademark office will check it to make sure it has all the information
needed, such as a clear representation of the mark you wish to apply for, a
list of the goods and/or services on which you are using the mark, an
address for service and a signature. Please note that your application fee
cannot be refunded for any reason and you cannot alter your mark after you
have submitted your application form.
Your details will be captured onto trademark database. Once your data has
been captured, your details including your name and address are open to the
public. If you do not want your home address published, please provide us
with a different address. The trademark office will send you filing receipt
and application number accordingly. As soon as you have an application
number you can trace the status of your mark filed with the competent
When the application is complete and the appropriate fee has been paid, it
will be sent to an examination team who will examine your mark. One of the
official examiners will assess your application based on the requirements of
the implementing Trade Marks Act and Trade Marks Rules. The authority will
issue an examination report either confirming acceptance or listing our
objections and requirements, and provide you with a deadline to reply. You
will then have the opportunity to contact the examiner to discuss the
objection(s). If there are earlier trade marks that are the same or similar
to the one that you have applied for, for the same or similar goods and/or
services, the examiner will tell you about them in the examination report.
A period of specified time limit is allowed for you to discuss the case with
the examiner and make proposals in writing. Please note that the trademark
office can only allow an opportunity for written correspondence.
Once the assigned examiner has accepted your trade mark,
the trademark office will publish it in Trade
Marks Journal and write to tell you the publication date and the number of
that Journal. The trademark office publishes your application in Trade Mark
Journal where your details, including your name and address are open to the
public. Once it is published, your application will be advertised for a
period of time. During this time any of the earlier marks that have been
notified, or any other party can oppose your mark. The office will contact
you if your application is opposed. Successful opposition could result in
your mark not being registered and you may have to pay costs. If no one
opposes your application within this period, your mark will become
If the examiner doesnít raise objections and it isnít opposed, it will
normally take around 10-12 months or longer to become registered. If
objections are raised, or if your mark is opposed, it can take longer.