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Publication and Opposition

When the examination has been successfully completed, the application is published in the UK Trade Marks Journal

The Trade Mark application is then open to public inspection and possible objection for a period of three months from the date of publication. If, as occasionally happens, an objection is raised by a third party against the application, then the matter has to be considered and appropriate action taken. It may be possible to deal with such an objection in a relatively simple exchange of correspondence. On other occasions, the ensuing Opposition proceedings can be long and complicated.

If there is no objection, or any objection has been resolved, then the application can proceed to registration on completion of certain formalities at the Trade Mark Registry. A registration certificate is then issued and the trade mark is placed on the Register for an period of ten years from the date of application. After that, it can be renewed indefinately.

Rights given by a trademark

Rights given by a Trade Mark Registration

Registration of a Trade Mark gives to the proprietor the exclusive right to use the trade mark in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered and the right to take legal action against competitors who might, inadvertently or otherwise use a similar trade mark on goods or services similar to those covered by the registration.

If the owner of a Trade Mark registration has a "reputation" in the UK, he can sue for Trade Mark infringement, irrespective of the nature of the goods or services on which the infringer is using the mark.

Most European countries, other than Ireland, grant (in the absence of opposition based on prior use) registration rights to the first to apply to register the Trade Mark, and not the first to start using the Trade Mark. You may therefore find, having been using your mark for some time, that a competitor has registered your mark or one similar to it and as a result you may be forced to stop using your mark. It is important to register your trade mark to protect you against this risk. When using your registered Trade Mark it is advisable to apply a warning indication to discourage others from using a similar mark.

After Registration icon

After Registration

After the initial ten year period the registration can be renewed for further periods of ten years, without limit, on payment of the renewal fee then current. If kept renewed, a Trade Mark registration can last for ever.