What are the steps to register a trademark?

Trademarks protect brand names, logos, slogans, etc. Once you create a trademark and start using it to sell your products or services, trademark rights and protection will be established. However, if you register a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you can get additional legal protection. After registering a trademark in the US Patent and Trademark Office, you can use the ® symbol and obtain federal protection to prevent competitors from using similar trademarks on similar products or services. So what are the steps to register a trademark?

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How do I register a trademark?

Some initial steps need to be taken before starting Trademark registration processAfter completing these steps, you can start the formal application.

1. Determine whether your trademark meets trademark requirements.

You must first determine whether your trademark is eligible for registration. Generally speaking, the definition of trademark is relatively broad. It can be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or device that specifies the source of a product or service.

Trademark protection also applies to sounds, smells, or other completely non-visual things, as long as it distinguishes the source of a particular product or service. No matter what logo you are trying to register, it should be unique to your business and distinguish your service or product from other logos. Keep in mind that generic names (for example, BIKE for selling bicycles, or SODA for carbonated drinks) do not qualify for trademark protection. You should also avoid overly descriptive brand names, which simply describe the quality, features, purpose, or function of your product. For example, “CREAMY” for yogurt or “SPEEDY” for racing cars are descriptive trademarks.

2. Conduct a preliminary trademark search.

When you submit a trademark application to the USPTO, the first thing a USPTO examiner does is to check whether your trademark is different or highly similar to other people’s trademarks. This is why the registration application process should not be started before completing the search of the Trademark Registry of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.you can use it This Trademark Electronic Retrieval System (TESS) is used for this initial step.

TESS provides several different trademark search options:

“Basic text markup” allows you to search for content that directly matches all or part of the markup you suggest.

Text and/or design mark search (Structured)” allows searching in various fields, such as international classifications of brand names, types of goods or services, or product categories.

Text and/or design mark search (free format)”Free-form search strings that use any combination of fields captured by the US Patent and Trademark Office are allowed. This option requires knowledge of the USPTO field code and how to use operators to combine search queries. Fortunately, the US Patent and Trademark Office directly searches here for the options Guides are provided in to explain each field and how to use it in searches.

To ensure that you are not infringing on the common law rights of other trademark owners, you should also consider searching state commercial registries, domain name databases, social media handles, and even general Internet searches to see if any products or services have already used you Products or services. Suggested name. The owners of these trademarks may have higher rights and oppose your application, or even cancel your registration after the US Patent and Trademark Office issues it.

3. Create a USPTO.gov account.

You must create an account with an email and password through the USPTO to submit a trademark application through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). After registration, you can access the application materials needed to start the application process.

4. Complete your application.

The application will require basic information about the trademark owner. If the business will have the mark, you must provide the entity type (company, limited liability company, partnership, etc.) and the state or country in which it is registered.

You will then choose the basis of the application, which means whether you are currently using the trademark in business or intend to use it in the future. Next, you must write the mark exactly as shown on the product or service, or upload a logo if you want to apply for a design mark.

If your trademark is currently in use, you must select a classification category and describe your goods or services. Each category needs a “sample”-it can be a screenshot of your product or service, showing the brand that consumers will see. Finally, for a trademark in use, you need to provide the date when the trademark was first used in the United States and internationally.

5. Submit and pay the application fee.

As part of the application process, you must pay the application fee or your application will not be considered. The application fee is charged according to the number of goods or service categories in your application.United States Patent and Trademark Office maintained Fee schedule.

You can submit an application directly through TEAS. You will then receive an email confirmation with a serial number at the email address provided in the application. The serial number will be your way to check the status of your application.

6. Answer the questions raised by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Once your application is submitted, the USPTO review attorney will be assigned to your application. The examiner will review your application and decide whether you meet the registration requirements. They may contact you for more information or to ask questions. From the date of submission, the preliminary review may take three to five months.

If the examiner finds any problems with your application, they will issue a preliminary rejection called “office action”. The office action will identify any issues in your application and provide you with an opportunity to respond. Office actions usually require a response within six months.

Some of the most common reasons for office actions are the possibility of confusion between your trademark and another similar trademark that was filed or registered before your application, the modification of the description of your goods or services, the reclassification of ID categories, or the need A new sample shows that your trademark is used for your goods or services.

7. Your trademark is published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

After you have resolved any issues identified in the Notice of Examination (or you have not received the Notice of Examination), the US Patent and Trademark Office will Official Gazette of Trademarks (TMOG) 30 days. During this period, anyone who believes that their business will be harmed by your trademark registration can raise an objection (or “objection”).

If there is no objection to your application, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will issue a registration three months after your trademark is published on TMOG.

8. Application for use intention-permission notice and use statement.

Applications based on intent of use (ITU) follow a similar process to the above, but with some subtle differences. After the publication period, the US Patent and Trademark Office will issue a Notice of License (NOA). NOA stipulates that once you submit a sample showing that the trademark is used for the goods or services in the application, your trademark will be approved for registration. This is called a statement of use (SOU). If you did not use the mark when you obtained the SOU, you can request an extension of six months to show the use. You can submit a total of five extension requests. There is also a fee for submitting an SOU, depending on the number of courses in the application. Once you submit an acceptable SOU, the USPTO will issue a certificate of registration, usually within 2-3 months.

9. Obtain your registration certificate.

Once your trademark is registered, you may want to allow others to use it to pay royalties.The best way to set up this type of arrangement is to create a Trademark license agreement.

Do I need to register a trademark?

Not possible. Once a trademark is created, you have the legal right to use the trademark (called “common law” rights). However, trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provide additional legal rights, such as:

  • Formal Federal Ownership Notice
  • Announce your ownership to others (including competitors)
  • State protection
  • Ability to apply for trademark protection abroad based on your U.S. registration
  • Presumption of Ownership in Trademark Infringement Cases
  • Use the federal trademark registration symbol, ®
  • Right to prevent counterfeiters from importing similar counterfeit products

How much does it cost to register a trademark?

The trademark registration fee varies according to the application basis you choose. It will also vary based on the number of classes in your application. “Classes” are different types of goods or services, such as software or T-shirts. Each category charges you an application fee, so, for example, if your trademark falls into two categories, you may need to double the fee.

The “starting rate” for trademark registration is $250 or $350, depending on the type of trademark you have registered.

How long does it take to register a trademark?

In general, you can expect the trademark registration process to take 12 to 18 months. The length of time to process your application usually depends on the individual examiner reviewing your application and the total number of trademarks submitted to the USPTO.

Get help with the trademark registration process

The trademark registration process can be complicated and full of decisions that raise legal issues.If you have any questions or concerns about your trademark or application process, please contact Rocket lawyers on call® lawyer Get answers to your specific trademark registration questions. Rocket Lawyer Trademark Service It can also help you throughout the process, from conducting a trademark search to submitting a trademark application. If you are in a hurry, please contact Rocket Lawyer’s Trademark Services Department for expedited applications.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm, nor is it a substitute for a lawyer or a law firm. The law is complex and changes frequently.For legal advice, please Ask a lawyer.

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