Step 1 - Application
First, you have to decide which goods and/or services you currently (or intend to) sell/supply under the mark and that you want covered by the trade mark registration. We will then work with you to draft and agree a 'specification', describing those goods/services in accordance with the relevant accepted terms and classifying them into the correct 'class' (there are 45 classes in total). Your application will then be filed by Ashfords at the Intellectual Property Office (the 'UKIPO').
How much does it cost? For preparing and filing a UK trade mark application to cover goods/services in one class only, we charge a fixed fee of £450 plus VAT. This includes all official filing fees. For each additional class of goods/services, we charge a further fixed fee of £100 plus VAT, including all official filing fees.
Step 2 - Examination
An Examiner checks the application and sends an Examination Report to Ashfords. If there are objections in the Report, we will liaise with you in order to try to overcome them.
Step 3 - Publication
If the Examination Report does not raise any objections (or we overcome the objections raised) the application will then go forward to advertisement in the online Trade Marks Journal. Upon advertisement, there is a 2 month period during which anyone can oppose the registration of your mark. This can be extended to 3 months, upon the request of a third party potential opponent.
Step 4 - Registration
If no-one opposes the application (or if we overcome the opposition) the mark will proceed to registration and a certificate will be issued.
How much does it cost? For steps 2-4, we charge on a time incurred basis for the time we incur.
For straightforward applications, you should budget an estimated £350 - £450 plus VAT per application for steps 2-4.
You are looking at a total estimated cost of £800 - £900 plus VAT (including Ashfords' fees and all official fees) if your trade mark application proves straightforward and covers goods/services in one class only. This works out at about £80-£90 plus VAT per year for the 10 year period of the registration.
It normally takes between 6-12 months from filing the application with the UKIPO to receiving the registration certificate, assuming the application proves straightforward. It will take longer if the application is not straightforward (e.g. if it is opposed by a third party).
Once registered, assuming you pay the renewal fees every 10 years and you use your mark in trade for the goods/services it covers, your trade mark can theoretically remain registered forever.