Trademark Registration Process
When you're ready to trademark your business, it's important to work with a lawyer who understands the process and can help you move forward quickly. The trademark registration process can seem complicated, but we'll give you an overview of what's involved in this post.
Trademark Registration Process
The trademark registration process begins with a search of the USPTO's database to ensure that your proposed mark is not already in use by another party. If it's not available, you will be issued a Notice of Allowance to proceed with filing your application.
Once your application is accepted, you will have one year from acceptance to file documents supporting the registrability of your mark—called "Statement of Use." Should you fail to submit these documents within this timeframe, your application will be abandoned.
Conduct a Trademark Search
A trademark search is an important step in the process to ensure that your mark is not already in use and that there are no conflicting marks. A trademark search can be done online or by hiring a professional to conduct it for you. The USPTO provides a free online trademark search tool called TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System), where you can conduct your own search.
File the Application
After you receive your filing receipt, you must file your application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by paying the appropriate fees. You can file your application electronically or by mail, but if you choose to submit it electronically, please note that it must be filed in English and only on an approved form (which includes electronic forms). Your completed application should include:
- The correct form for the type of filing basis applied for (e.g., use-based or intent-to-use)
- All required fees for each class of goods and services being claimed as part of this trademark registration request
- An identification statement indicating whether this is a concurrent use application or an intent-to-use application
Respond to Office Actions
The USPTO will send you office actions if they find something wrong with your application. If you don’t respond to the office action in a timely manner, your application will be abandoned and you will have to start from scratch. You can respond to office actions by letter or email; however, it is recommended that you file an amendment if possible as this helps protect your trademark rights and reduces future costs associated with submitting amendments later on down the line. Once an amendment has been accepted by the USPTO, all references made in that amendment become part of your original filing date—as opposed to having them counted as separate filings which would make it harder for others who want similar names but aren't aware of yours (such as competitors).
Monitor your Mark
Once you have registered your trademark, it is important to monitor the status of your mark. This means that you should:
- Monitor the status of your application.
- Monitor the status of your registration (if the application is approved).
- Monitor the status of any renewal applications or registrations (if applicable).
Now that you know the steps for trademarking your business, it's time for a reality check. Trademarking is a long, complicated, and costly process. It can be difficult to navigate through all of the legal jargon and paperwork involved in trademarking. The best thing to do is start sooner rather than later and make sure you have an experienced attorney by your side throughout this process.
Now that you know the steps for trademarking, go forth and register your trademark.