Once a trade mark has been selected, the next decision will be how the trade mark is going to be applied. This will determine the number of classes in respect of which the trade mark application is to be filed. The number of classes will determine the official fees that you will need to pay when filing the trade mark application.
As soon the classes have been selected, it will be necessary to construct descriptions that are to accompany each class. Note that a registered trade mark does not extend to all the goods or services in a particular class, but rather to the description that accompanies each class. So it is important that this step be carried out carefully. It is not possible to add goods or services that are not broadly covered by the descriptions as filed, so it is better to go a little overboard, rather than skimp on the description.
That done, the application can be filed. Once filed, it will take about 9 to 12 months to receive an examination report. On the other hand, a Notice of Acceptance will issue if the examiner finds that there are no conflicts with existing trade marks on the register and that the trade mark is “distinctive”.
Acceptance of an application is advertised for 2 months once it has been accepted. During that time, any third party can oppose the registration of the trade mark. A trade mark application may be registered at any time within the six month period after advertisement of acceptance.
The ‘R’ symbol can be applied upon registration of the trade mark. It is an offence to use the ‘R’ symbol or otherwise signify that a trade mark may be registered without official registration of the trade mark.
Trade mark registrations have an unlimited life, provided renewal fees are paid every 10 years. Note, however, that a trade mark registration can become subject to removal from the register if the trade mark is not used during the course of trade in respect of the claimed goods and/or services.