Potential clients often ask us how to register a trademark.

 

In the United States, trademarks may be registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Trademarks may also be registered with individual states, but many people stick with federal registration as it provides the strongest protection.

The process can be confusing and time consuming, so most people hire an attorney. Trademark To Go was created to provide accessible and affordable attorney representation for people filing trademarks. The process generally works like this:

  • First, you need to determine if your proposed trademark can be trademarked — click here to read our article discussing this topic. If in doubt, you should discuss your proposed trademark with an attorney who can help. Our lawyers are happy to discuss this with you.

  • Second, your attorney should do a trademark search. Don’t hire an attorney or an online document filing service that just files your application without searching. This can waste your time and money. If there are similar sounding or looking trademarks out there, the government may reject your application — and they never refund your money!

  • Next, if your trademark attorney feels the search went well and your proposed trademark is available, he or she will get required information about the mark and file the application with the USPTO.

  • A waiting game then ensues. The government can take a few months to process your application. The USPTO will assign a government lawyer to your application and they will either “approve it for publication” or send you a legal challenge (known as an “Office action”).

  • If your application is approved for publication, it will be published in the “Official Gazette,” a publication by the USPTO. It stays in the Gazette for 30 days, and during that time, anyone with a similar trademark can challenge your trademark. This becomes a legal process.

  • If, instead, the government issues an Office action, they will make legal arguments and cite court cases describing why they think they should reject your trademark. Your lawyer can respond to these and fight to overcome their objections. Here at Trademark to Go, if the government challenges you with an Office action, we will respond to short ones for free (those requiring less than 30 minutes of our time). At your request, we can respond to more serious challenges for our discounted hourly rate. If you overcome the Office action, your mark becomes approved for publication (see the previous bullet point).

  • After the 30-day publication period, and if you’re currently using the mark, the USPTO will issue a registration. Congratulations!

  • After the 30-day publication period, if you are NOT currently using the mark, you have 6 months to send a statement to the government (along with another small filing fee) letting them know that you are using it. Your attorney should handle this for you and may be able to get an extension of time. After you prove that you are using it, the USPTO will issue a registration. Congratulations!

Ready to file your trademark and protect your business?

We may it easy with our five-step process. Call us at (888) 421-0589 or click here to get started!

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