Once your trade mark application has been filed, the trade mark registry will review the application to ensure that it meets the eligibility requirements for registration. This process is known as “examination”.
If, during examination, the trade mark registry considers that your trade mark does not fully comply with the requirements for registration it will issue an examination report setting out its objections and/or queries. Depending on the nature of the objection and trade mark application, it may be possible to overcome any objection by providing appropriate information requested or by making amendments to the trade mark application. If the trade mark is still not deemed to be eligible for registration (either wholly, or partly), the trade mark application will be rejected (either wholly or partly).
The examination report will also identify any existing registered trade marks which the trade mark registry considers to be the same or similar to your trade mark application. In most cases, once accepted, the trade mark registry will inform the owners of these registered trade marks about your application, which increases the chances of your trade mark application being opposed by these trade mark owners in due course. Accordingly, there can often be merit in seeking to prevent such third parties from being notified by trying to persuade the trade mark registry that your trade mark is not similar to these earlier marks and/or by making amendments to your trade mark so that it is dissimilar to any of the earlier registered trade marks which have been identified.
If following examination the trade mark is deemed to meet the requirements for registration, it will be accepted and will proceed to the next stage of the application process.