Office action

If we find obstacles to the registration of your trademark in the examination, we will inform you about them by sending you an office action as a registered letter. In general, we send no more than one office action. A second office action is issued only if it is expected to provide additional information that is essential for making a decision in the case.

What is a formal office action?

You will receive a formal office action from us right at the beginning of the proceedings if your application involves a formal deficiency, such as an erroneous classification or a missing power of attorney. The formal office action contains a request that you correct the deficiencies. Once you have done that, we can continue the examination.

When should I respond to an office action?

It is very important that you always respond to the office action within the given time. If you fail to submit a response by the deadline, your application will be dismissed and the processing will end. This means that – even if the proposed trademark could have been registrable in part – it will not be registered, and instead the entire application will be left unprocessed.

After this the trademark can be reinstated only if you file a new application and pay a new application fee. In such a case you can, however, submit a request in writing for accelerated processing.

The time limits for responding are as follows:

  • office actions: 4–8 weeks
  • formal office actions: at least 4 weeks
  • office actions for international registrations: 12 weeks

When can I get a deadline extension?

We can extend the response time for you if you submit a request in writing within the given time limit. You must also pay an extension fee. See our price list and payment instructions.

After each office action you can get only one extension without proper explanations. To get another extension you must provide a specific explanation, such as ongoing negotiations to get the consent of the owner of an earlier trademark.

We grant a summer extension without any explanations to all office actions with a deadline between 1 June and 31 August. You may therefore be granted more than one summer extension.

How should I respond to an office action?

You must respond to office actions in writing, for instance by email. We recommend that you study our examples of how to respond to office actions and how to overcome obstacles reported in them. See the examples.

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Latest update 30.12.2016