How to Register a Trademark in Illinois
The use of a trademark can be a powerful tool for protecting your brand, but it doesn't work unless the trademark has been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Registering your trademark can also help you get more leverage in licensing deals and prevent others from using your distinctive name or logo. By registering a trademark in Illinois, you'll be able to prevent others from using your valuable intellectual property without permission or compensation.
Who Needs to Register a Trademark?
The first step in the trademark registration process is to decide if you need a federally registered trademark. If you are a business, or plan on using your brand name for commercial purposes, then it's likely that you do. In other words, anyone who wants to protect their brand name could benefit from registering their trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Trademarks are registered on an individual basis by: companies; individuals; and other entities such as partnerships or groups of any kind (e.g., clubs, associations). To be eligible for protection under federal law, however—and therefore eligible for federal registration with the USPTO—you must be able to prove that:
- The mark is actually being used in commerce
- You intend to use your mark legitimately in trade.
- You have associated the mark with goods or services that can be identified by consumers even though those goods or services themselves may not be available yet (called "intent-to-use").
File an Application
The application must be filed by the person or business who owns the mark. If you are filing a trademark on behalf of a corporation, partnership or other entity, then it is your responsibility to have an attorney sign off on it. The form must be filed in duplicate and must include the following information:
- Your name, address and signature
- The mark you want to register, including any drawings or other artwork that show how the mark is used on goods or services (called "specimens")
- A description of all goods or services for which you plan to register your trademark
Pay the Required Fee
The fee is based on the number of classes, goods and services, and international classes included in your application. The amount you pay depends on how many of these are included: - One class and one international class: $275
- Two classes and one international class: $325
- Three classes and one international class: $400
- Four or more classes: $550
You should hire a trademark attorney if you are unsure about whether or not to register your mark in Illinois. A registered trademark can help protect your brand and prevent confusion among consumers about which company's products, services, and brands are affiliated with yours.
If you want to protect your brand in Illinois, it’s important that you register it with the state trademark office. The registration process is fairly straightforward and will help ensure that no one else can use your trademark for their own products or services.