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Understanding the trademark process

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2021 | Intellectual Property Law

A trademark protects brand names and logos used for goods and services. If a business is interested in obtaining a trademark, there is helpful information available about the process.

Application process

The first step in the trademark application and registration process with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is to select a trademark. Business owners will need to consider whether the trademark can be registered with the USPTO.

Applicants can also search the USPTO database to check whether anyone else is claiming a similar trademark.

Next, the applicant must identify the trademark format. This can be a standard character mark, a stylized design mark or a sound mark. It’s also important to identify the goods or services the trademark will apply to.

Submission and status

Once the applicant has prepared the application, paid the fee and submitted it, he or she is responsible for monitoring the status of the application at least every 6 months.

After the USPTO determines that the applicant has met the minimum filing requirements, it will assign a serial number and will forward it to an examining attorney to ensure it complies with the rules.

If the examining attorney determines that the trademark should not be registered, he or she will issue a letter explaining the reason, called an office action. If the applicant receives an office action, he or she must submit a response within 6 months or the application will no longer be effective.

If the examining attorney approves the trademark, it will be approved for publication. It’s important that the trademark process is completed accurately. An experienced attorney can provide representation and answer additional questions about the process.