The trademark registration process generally comprises two stages: the examination period, where the IP office assesses the application, and the opposition period, where owners of previously registered trademarks may oppose the application.
The average length of the examination period varies depending on the country, with a few examples being:
- USA - 11 months
- EU - 1 month
- UK - 3 months
- Canada - 18 months
- Australia - 5 months
- China - 9 months
Generally, you can expect the more sought-after jurisdiction to take longer, but this isn't always the rule.
Bear in mind that these timeframes evolve in time. If a particular IP office experiences an unprecedented influx of new applications, its ability to process them will be impaired. Also, these averages reflect the time to examine applications where no issue is found. If the IPO raises an office action, you can expect the process to take even longer, sometimes by a couple of additional months.
These numbers can look discouriging but remember - if you file a trademark application, your protection starts counting from the date of filing.