A trademark application after it is filed has to see through several stages of scrutiny before it is finally registered. So, the applicant and or the applicant’s counsel needs to diligently follow up with every stage of the application. After the implementation of online filing, a.k.a. e-filing of trademarks, objections and other notifications are published online.
Some of the common stages are as given below:
1) Online New Application or New Application – indicates that the application is filed and/or the data entry has been done.
2) Send to Vienna Codification – only applies to non-text trademarks, containing logo or label or artwork. This means your non-text trade mark is being assigned with codes as per vienna codification
3) Formalities chk pass – this means the application has met all the documentary requirements, such as Power of Attorney, Specimen, etc. and ready to be advanced to the next step.
4) Marked for exam – this means the application has been taken for examination by the trademark examiner.
5) Objected – means an adverse examination report is issued/Exam Report Issued – this mostly indicates that your application has been examined and requires slight modifications or compliance or is going to be advertised in the journal.
6) Refused – means the application is refused after considering and or hearing the applicant’s response to the adverse examination report.
7) Adv. before accepted – means the application is assigned for publication pending amendment required from the applicant
8) Opposed – means an opposition is filed by a third party who has interests in the trademark.
9) Abandoned – means an applicant has failed to respond to office actions within the prescribed period of time.
10) Withdrawn – means an applicant has filed the prescribed document to withdraw the application
11) Removed – means the mark has been technically removed from the trademark register. The means you cannot call this anymore a trademark in the register.
12) Registered – means the mark has been registered.
Different steps in trademark registration
Step 1: Trademark Application – An application is a request for consideration of the mark to be registered – approximately 1 to 7 days.
Step 2: Examination Report – after 6 to 8 months from the date of application, the Trademark Registry Office issues an examination report with a view to obtain more information on the mark.
Step 3: Reply to Examination Report – Within 30 days from date of examination report, a reply has to be filed with the Trademark Registry, giving adequate information about details sought. This is an important step and if a proper reply is not given, the application may be rejected.
Step 4: Advertisement – Usually within 1-3 months of above reply, if the reply is satisfactory, the mark is advertised primarily to alert the general public that the mark is in process of registration so that affected people may submit oppositions and counter-claims for the mark.
Step 5: Opposition – Within 3-5 months of mark being advertised, any concerned party may oppose registration of the mark.
Hearing of Objections – If mark is opposed, then a hearing is conducted wherein the applicant as well as the opposing party present their point of arguments.
Step 6: Issue of Trademark – If there is no opposition or if the objections of opposing party are rejected during hearing. the trademark is finally registered in the name of the applicant and a registration certificate is issued.