The first step in registering a new trademark is to conduct a search to make sure that the chosen mark is free for you to use. A search can normally be completed within a week. However, in urgent cases a search can be done within 24 hours, although there may be extra costs for this.
If the search is clear, the next step is for an application to be filed to register your trademark. This can normally be done by a trademark lawyer as soon as your instructions are received. The application will then need to be examined by the relevant authorities. This examination process can take several weeks or months, depending on the country and on the nature of the mark. Once the examination has been completed, assuming that no objections have been raised, or any objections overcome, then the trademark will need to be published for opposition purposes. A trademark application normally remains open to opposition for a period of two or three months depending on the country. If no oppositions are encountered, then the trademark will be ready for registration. In some countries there will be further registration fees to pay, while in other countries such as the US it may be necessary to provide specimens to show that the mark is in use.
The whole process of obtaining a UK trademark registration will normally take about 5-6 months, assuming that no serious problems are encountered.
For European (CTM) applications the process is slower and the time involved can vary considerably. Applications that do not encounter objections or oppositions should be registered within about two years, although sometimes it can be less than this.
If there are official objections, or oppositions from third parties, then the process can take much longer. Importantly, protection will date back to the filing date of your application and anyone who has been using your mark illegally since that date will have been infringing your rights and may be liable to you in damages.