What is a trademark? 

A trademark serves as a distinctive marker for your brand’s products and services, setting them apart from competitors. It encompasses various elements such as your business name, product moniker, slogan, emblem, or visual design. Registering a trademark involves securing legal rights to these aspects of your intellectual property, which then safeguards your brand against infringement. 

What significance does a trademark hold? 

A trademark signifies that elements, such as a business name, brand identity, slogan, logo, symbol, or design have been officially registered with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), thereby imposing restrictions on their usage by others. By obtaining trademark registration, a business gains legal grounds to prevent competitors from imitating its branding. This legal process acts as a shield, fortifying your brand against potential infringement and preserving its unique identity in the marketplace.

What is the Trademark Registration Process

  • Initial Assessment and Clearance Search:  The first step in the trademark process is to conduct a thorough pre-application clearance search to ensure that your proposed trademark is not already in use by another party. This pre- application search helps identify potential conflicts that could prevent your trademark from being registered.
  • Filing the Trademark Application:  Once the pre-application clearance search is complete and it’s determined that your trademark is available for use, you or your attorney will prepare and file a trademark application with the USPTO. 
  • Examination by the USPTO:  After filing, your trademark application will be assigned to an examining attorney at the USPTO. The examining attorney will review the application and conduct a more thorough search to ensure that it meets all legal requirements and does not conflict with any existing trademarks. 
  • Publication for Opposition:  If your trademark application is approved by the examining attorney, it will be published in the USPTO’s Official Gazette for a period of 30 days. During this time, third parties have the opportunity to oppose the registration of your trademark if they believe it infringes on their own rights.
  • Registration:  If no oppositions are filed or if any oppositions are resolved in your favor, your trademark will proceed to registration. You will receive a Certificate of Registration from the USPTO, granting you exclusive rights to use the trademark in connection with the goods or services identified in your application.
  • Maintenance and Renewal:  Once your trademark is registered, you must maintain it by regularly filing maintenance documents and paying renewal fees to keep it active. Failure to do so could result in the cancellation of your trademark registration.

Attorney assistance is proven to increase your chances of successfully registering your trademark. If you have a trademark that you would like to register and you need assistance, please contact us today.