Examination process

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Examination process

Once submitted, your application to register a trade mark will be examined by the following process.

Before filing a trade mark application, consider whether your mark is unique enough to act as a trade mark. You may use any of the following resources to help with your assessment:

1. Application filed

Your trade mark application for registration must meet legal requirements.

See apply for a trade mark.

2. First examination

Within 15 working days of receiving the application, we examine it to make sure it complies with all the requirements of the Trade Marks Act 2002.

See examination.

3. Acceptance or refusal

If your mark complies with all the requirements of the Act and regulations, your trade mark will be accepted.

However if we have concerns regarding your application, a compliance report will be issued outlining the objections to give you the opportunity to respond. If your further responses don't overcome the objections your mark will either lapse or if we consider the objections can't be overcome we will consider rejecting your application.

4. Advertisement of acceptance or opposition

An acceptance notice is advertised in The Journal.

Within three months of the advertised acceptance, a person may oppose the application of the registration of a trade mark in the form it was advertised.

See opposing registration of a trade mark.

If no opposition is raised, then the mark will be registered not less than six months from the date of filing.

5. Registration

After the trade mark application has been accepted and published for opposition purposes, the trade mark will be registered (provided that an opposition has not been filed) three months from the Journal publication date, or six months after the filing date of the application, whichever is later.

6. Renewal

A trade mark registration can be renewed every 10 years. You can request a renewal up to 12 months in advance. See renew a trade mark.

If the trade mark registration isn’t renewed by the due date, the status will be changed to ‘Registered - past expiry date’. The registration may be restored if the renewal fee is paid within the 6-month grace period following the due date.

If the renewal fee is not paid by the expiry of the 6-month grace period, the trade mark registration will expire and may no longer be restored.