First, this is an optional part of the process, but it is always recommended to start by looking at already registered trademarks in classes your brand will be applying for. Similar trademarks can oppose your application, which can complicate the registration process or even lead to your trademark being refused. To find similar trademarks, you can search in the IPO database yourself or order a professional Trademark Search service. You should also make sure the brand name is not descriptive of the products or services offered by the brand. If you are unsure, your representative can advise you on this.
Once you have done your homework, you may file an application with the IP Office. The office will then evaluate whether the trademark is suitable for registration. This is known as the examination period. During this window, the IP Office may issue an office action if there are concerns about the registration. After the application successfully passes the examination, it will be published for oppositions where other already registered trademarks can raise objections. If no objection is raised during the opposition period, the trademark will be registered, and a trademark registration certificate will be issued.
If an opposition is raised, your legal representative will be notified and depending on the severity of the situation, you can either try to challenge the opposition or strike a co-existence agreement with the other party.
Further information on the trademark registration process can be found in our Trademark Academy.