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Trademark Registration in the United States

A trademark is a phrase, symbol, word, or a combination of all these three that identifies your brands. It is how customers recognize your goods and services and how you differentiate yourself from competitors in the marketplace. The word trademark can cover both service marks and trademarks. Trademark is for goods while a service mark is for services. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) handles trademark registration United States.Your US trademark rights are established as soon as you start using it. However, those rights are only limited to your local geographical area, and only by having a federally registered trademark can you protect your brand nationwide.
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A trademark is a phrase, symbol, word, or a combination of all these three that identifies your brands. It is how customers recognize your goods and services and how you differentiate yourself from competitors in the marketplace. The word trademark can cover both service marks and trademarks. Trademark is for goods while a service mark is for services. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) handles trademark registration United States.

 

A US trademark primarily serves three functions;

 

·It legally protects your brand

 

·It identifies where your goods and services originate from

 

·It helps you prevent counterfeits and fraud.

 

Your US trademark rights are established as soon as you start using it. However, those rights are only limited to your local geographical area, and only by having a federally registered trademark can you protect your brand nationwide.

 

Why Register a Trademark in the US?

While you do not have to register a trademark to own it, there are several advantages and greater protection that come with a registered trademark. These include;

 

1.You get nationwide validity.

A registered trademark increases the geographical location in which your trademark rights are protected. It provides nationwide validity across the fifty states, and you can expand later in the future while protecting your brand from infringement.

 

2.You protect yourself against infringement.

Once you register your trademark, it is uploaded to a public database, and it is accessible to anyone. It acts as a deterrent to any other third parties, and they cannot claim ignorance when they infringe on your trademark. You also have court protection and can sue for any infringement.

3.You can use US registration as a basis for international trademark registrations.

 

4.You can prevent the import of goods that infringe on your trademark

 

5.You can apply for incontestable rights after using the registered trademark for more than five years

 

6.A registered trademark is a business asset with a significant value

 

Process of Registering a Trademark in the US

 

The trademark registration United States process follows six main steps, and it helps if you have a US trademark attorney to guide you through the application. These steps are;

 

1. Identify the trademark application is right for you

You have to be sure what you need is a trademark and no other forms of protection like copyright, patent, domain name, or business registration.

 

2.Preparing to apply

At this point, you carefully consider the mark you will choose based on several factors, including whether it is registerable and its format. You also have to consider the goods or services it will cover and how easy it is to protect the trademark.

 

You then have to conduct a trademark search US in the USPTO database. This will help you determine if any party is already claiming a trademark similar in wording or design to yours in related goods and services. One of the main reasons US trademark applications fail is that they are similar to already registered ones. Therefore, doing a trademark search in the US will save you plenty of time and costs by avoiding a guaranteed rejected application.

 

3.Filling and submitting your application

Next, you set up a USPTO.gov account which you use to access the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). You then get your online application form which you fill and submit with the necessary application fees. Once done, you can monitor the status of your application via the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system.

 

4.Reviewing of the application by the USPTO examining attorney

If your application meets the minimum requirements, it is given to an examining attorney for comprehensive reviewing, and the process could take months. Should the attorney determine your mark should not be registered, they will issue you a letter with the reasons, and if only minor corrections are needed, they will contact you through telephone or email. You have six months to respond, or the application will be declared abandoned.

 

5.Receive approval or denial of your application

If there are no issues to prevent registration or if you have done the required corrections, the attorney approves the mark for publication in the USPTO's Official Gazette. It is a weekly publication, and USPTO will send you a notice for publication. After this, any objecting party has thirty days to file for opposition or request time to file an opposition. If there is no opposition or the opposition is unsuccessful, then USPTO will register your mark and give you the registration certificate.

 

General Costs to Register in the US

The costs of US trademark registration depend on several factors, including the filing option you choose and the number of classes of goods or services you include. For example, the initial application has two options TEAS Standard and TEAS Plus. TEAS Standard costs $350 per class of goods/services, while TEAS Plus costs $250 per class of goods/services.

 

Further FAQs about Trademark Registration in the US

 

What forms of trademarks can I register?

You can use any form or mark that can be represented graphically. Such forms include wordmarks, figurative marks (anything that does not include a letter or number), or mixed marks.

 

Who can use the ® symbol?

Only federally registered trademarks with a registration certificate can use the ® symbol as it notifies competitors and other third parties that the mark is registered.

 

Are there refunds for a failed registration?

The registration period is not automatic, and the fees are largely for the filing process, so generally, there are usually no refunds.

 

Can I register multiple marks in one application?

You can only register one mark in a single application. Therefore, if you have several trademarks to register, you will have to file an individual application for each.


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