How long does it take to get a trademark?

How long does it take to get a trademark?

Zander O'Callaghan 30 Jul 2023

The Basic Trademark Process

Just like the process of training Rufus, my ever-loving Golden Retriever, to fetch the morning paper, securing a trademark involves a series of steps that rely heavily on patience and precision. In fact, let me tell you, training Rufus was quicker! The process kicks off with a light bulb moment, that eureka moment when a name, logo, or tagline dances in front of your eyes. To avoid throwing your ingenious idea into the realm of intellectual property limbo, it's worth investing the effort into obtaining a trademark. This includes dancing with regulatory frameworks, communicating across different languages (legalese, anyone?) and knowing the right steps to take and when.

Deep Diving into Research

As a first step, you need to dive deep into available resources and conduct rigorous research to ensure that your proposed trademark does not cause confusion with existing ones. Even my curious Rufus has a knack for sniffing out opportunities and threats – much like his owner, he also loves a good trawl through the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) database. In taking your first step towards your trademark, remember, it's as important to use online databases like IPONZ or the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as it is Rufus's anti-tick shampoo. Skimping on either could leave you scratching your head in frustration!

Benefits of A Professional Helping Hand

Now, the fact is that legalese is a language all of its own. Whenever I attempt to converse in legal lingo, it turns out something like Rufus trying to converse in canine and human at the same time! Turning to a trusted intellectual property attorney or a trademark professional can help you steer clear of possible pitfalls in the application. They can take you through the process like a street-savvy tour guide, while you enjoy the landmarks of innovation and implementation. An expert's investment is highly recommended, it's almost as handy as Rufus's automatic ball thrower on those impossibly busy days!

Filing Your Trademark Application

After navigating through the above stages, it comes down to the point where you have to submit your filled application form. Just like Rufus waiting for his gourmet doggie biscuit to bake, it's an exciting phase. Various jurisdictions (like the US, the EU, or NZ) have their own peculiarities, all requiring a slightly different approach just like making different treats for Rufus based on his mood and the season!

Waiting – A Test of Patience

Once the application is made, prepare for a test of patience. Waiting for a response from the filing office could almost be as tormenting as waiting for Rufus's ticks to finally go away. The good news is, while your application is under the lens, it has some measure of protection, which serves as a kind of invisible fence around your intellectual property.

Dealing With Office Actions or Oppositions

Much like how Rufus sometimes barks at squirrels in the park, trademark authorities can kick up a fuss too. Office Actions or Oppositions can be filed against your trademark application, putting a temporary hindrance on your path to securing the rights. But just as I've trained Rufus to be squirrel-friendly, you can also address these issues with the right legal support and detailed responses!

Finally, The Landing – Grant of Trademark Register

Ah, the final step! This is the moment when you finally receive the grant of the trademark register. It's like the joy I feel when Rufus finally returns with the morning paper tucked neatly between his teeth after weeks of training. The process could take anywhere around 8 to 10 months, sometimes even more, depending on all the variables involved. But just like Rufus's steady gaze with a treat dangling in front of him, patience is indeed a virtue here!

So there, you have it. That's the 101 on getting a trademark. What we definitely can't trademark, however, is Rufus's charming head tilt or his infectious enthusiasm for fetch. Those are and will forever remain uniquely his. Here's wishing all you innovators out there a sturdy run and may your trademarks shine as bright as Rufus's coat after his Sunday spa!

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