Last updated: 
1 July 2019

What to do if you receive an adverse report

If your trade mark application does not meet our legislative requirements you will receive an adverse examination report. The report will outline the reasons why, and any options for overcoming them.

The report will contain contact information for the examiner assigned to your case, so you can call us to discuss your report or to seek more information.

If you want to address the problems identified in your application you will need to put any submissions or proposals in writing.

You might disagree with our assessment of your application. If this is the case, you can also submit your response or argument in writing.  

You have 15 months from the date of the adverse report to address any problems with your application. Both your response to the report and our examiner’s response back to you should be completed within the 15 months.

Supporting information/evidence

If the examiner has raised an objection to your trade mark, there are provisions within the legislation which you might use to address the objection. For example, you could compile and submit what is known as Evidence of Use of your trade mark.

You have 15 months to respond and have the examiner consider your response.

This could result in acceptance of the application, or, if the problems remain outstanding, another adverse report. It is in your interests to submit any response in time to meet the requirements.

Extensions of time

If you are approaching the end of the 15 month period and you need more time to respond, you can apply for an extension of time for acceptance. This should be done before the end of the 15 month period.

If you wish to request an extension after that date, you will need to apply for an extension of time under section 224 of the Trade Marks Act 1995 to have your application reinstated. You will need to declare why you were not able to request an extension before the 15 months expired.

Fees apply for extensions of time in both of the above circumstances. Head to the trade mark time and costs page for more information on extensions of time.