How to Register a Trademark in North Dakota?


A trademark is a symbol, word, or phrase that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services from those of others. Trademarks are important for businesses because they help consumers identify and trust the products or services they purchase. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps involved in registering a trademark in the state of North Dakota.

Step 1: Conduct a Trademark Search

Before applying for a trademark in North Dakota, it is essential to conduct a search to ensure that the trademark you wish to register is not already in use by another business. This can be done by searching the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database or by hiring an attorney to conduct a more thorough search. Conducting a trademark search is essential in order to ensure that the mark you want to register is not already registered or pending registration by another party. It is not only important to search the USPTO database but also the state trademarks, common law trademarks, and even trademarks registered in other countries. This is because trademarks are territorial rights, meaning that a trademark registered in one state may not be protected in another state. Additionally, if you wish to expand your business to another state or country, it's important to ensure that your trademark is available in those regions as well. Hiring an attorney to conduct a trademark search can be a good idea as they are familiar with the process and can conduct a more thorough search, which includes searching for similar marks, similar goods or services, and similar trade names. This step ensures that your trademark is unique and not already taken by another party.

Step 2: Choose the Right Trademark Classification

When registering a trademark in North Dakota, you will need to choose the appropriate trademark classification for your goods or services. There are 45 different classes of goods and services, and it is important to choose the correct one to ensure that your trademark application is accepted. The International Classification of Goods and Services (ICGS) is used by the USPTO to classify goods and services. The ICGS is divided into 45 classes, with 34 classes for goods and 11 classes for services. It's important to choose the right class, as it will determine the scope of protection for your trademark. For example, if you own a clothing store and want to register a trademark for your brand, you would choose class 25, which covers clothing, footwear, headgear. If you want to register a trademark for an online retail store, you would choose class 35, which covers advertising and business services. It's important to note that you can only register a trademark for goods and services that you are currently offering or intend to offer in the future.

Step 3: Prepare and File the Trademark Application

Once you have conducted a search and chosen the right classification, you can prepare and file your trademark application. This can be done online through the USPTO website or through an attorney. The application will require information such as the trademark, a description of the goods or services, and the applicant's contact information. It is important to provide accurate and detailed information in the application to increase the chances of it being accepted. When preparing the application, it is advisable to work with an attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that your application is complete and accurate. The attorney can also help you identify and address any potential issues that may arise during the application process. You will also need to submit a specimen of use, which is a sample of how you are using the mark in commerce. This can be a photograph of the mark on packaging, a screenshot of the mark on a website, or a physical specimen of the mark on a product. This specimen serves as evidence that the mark is currently in use and helps to prove that the mark is associated with the goods or services identified in the application.

Step 4: Respond to Office Actions

After the application has been filed, the USPTO will review it and may issue an office action. This is a letter that informs the applicant of any issues or concerns with the application. It may include issues such as the mark being too similar to an existing mark, or the goods or services not being properly described. It is important to respond to any office actions within the time frame provided to avoid having the application abandoned. It is important to address any issues or concerns raised in the office action as soon as possible. If you do not respond within the time frame provided, your application may be considered abandoned. In some cases, the issues can be easily resolved by making minor changes to the application, such as amending the description of goods or services. In other cases, the issues may require more extensive changes or additional documentation. An attorney can help you navigate any legal hurdles that may arise during this process.

Step 5: Monitor the Trademark Status

Once the application has been filed and any office actions have been addressed, it is important to monitor the trademark status to ensure that it is approved. This can be done by checking the USPTO website or by hiring an attorney to monitor the status on your behalf. It is important to monitor the status of your application as it can take several months or even years for your trademark to be approved. The USPTO will examine your application to ensure that it meets all the requirements for registration. The USPTO will also check if there are any conflicting marks that may prevent registration of your mark. It is important to keep track of the status of your application and make sure that there are no delays that can cause your application to be denied.

Step 6: Renew the Trademark

Trademarks must be renewed every ten years to remain in effect. It is important to renew the trademark on time to avoid losing it. Once your trademark is registered, it must be renewed every ten years to maintain its validity. The renewal process is similar to the initial registration process and requires submitting a renewal application and paying the associated fees. It is also important to ensure that your trademark is still in use in commerce or to have a valid reason for non-use before the renewal date. It is important to keep track of the renewal date of your trademark and make sure that you renew it on time to avoid losing it. It is also important to ensure that you continue to use the trademark in commerce, or else it can be considered abandoned.


In conclusion, registering a trademark in North Dakota is a process that involves several steps, including conducting a trademark search, choosing the right classification, preparing and filing the application, responding to office actions, monitoring the trademark status, and renewing the trademark. It is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that the process is completed correctly and efficiently. While registering a trademark can be time-consuming and costly, it is an important investment for businesses to protect their brand and reputation in North Dakota. It is also worth noting that registering a trademark at the state level does not guarantee protection in other states. Therefore, it's recommended to also apply for federal registration through the USPTO, which provides protection throughout the entire United States. Overall, registering a trademark in North Dakota is an important step for businesses to take in order to protect their brand and reputation. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, businesses can ensure that they are taking the necessary steps to register their trademark correctly and efficiently. It is important to conduct a thorough trademark search, choose the right classification, prepare and file the application, respond to office actions, monitor the trademark status, and renew the trademark on time. With the help of an attorney, businesses can navigate the trademark registration process and secure the protection they need to succeed in the state of North Dakota.