Application Phase
When a client decides on a trademark (service mark) for filing, the product for which the trademark (service mark) is to be used and the class to which the product belongs will be decided in a meeting with the client, and a search will be conducted for preceding trademarks that have been registered to determine what approach to take for the application.

Then, the trademark application is drafted and filed at the patent office.
Office Action Phase
After the application for a trademark is filed, it undergoes an examination process. While there are cases where a “Decision to Grant a Trademark Registration” is directly issued without any reasons for refusal given during the examining process, when reasons for refusal are given, the examiner issues a “Notification of Reasons for Refusal”. The process of responding to an issued Notification of Reasons for Refusal is generally referred to as the Office Action phase.

To overcome the reasons for refusal given by the examiner, an amendment revising or removing the submitted trademark application, and a written opinion responding to the reasons for refusal must be submitted within a designated timeframe.
Registration Phase
When all the reasons of refusal from the examination process are resolved, the examiner issues a decision for “Registration Publication”. If no appeals are made during a 2 month term from issuance of the decision for Registration Publication, the applicant receives a “Decision to Grant a Trademark Registration”. The applicant that receives the Decision to Grant a Trademark Registration then pays a registration fee at the patent office and is issued a trademark registration certificate. Then, as a trademark rights holder, the applicant is free to exercise the trademark rights.