Trademarks are a valuable business asset. They can help you protect your brand and reputation, prevent confusion among customers and competitors, and increase revenues. But, before you can start protecting your (name) trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you must first register it.
Step 1: Search for conflicting marks.
The first step in the process is to conduct a USPTO trademark search for conflicting marks. This is an important step, and you should do it before you file your application. You can search for conflicting marks either online or by mail or phone. Searching for conflicting marks is free.
There are three ways that you can search for conflicting marks:
- By Mail – You can fill out the form at www.uspto.gov/trademark/howto/searching_process/index-searching-process.jsp and mail it to the USPTO with a check for $100 payable to “United States Treasury.” The USPTO will then send you a letter listing any potentially conflicting trademarks that they have found after searching their database of registered trademarks and common law uses of words or phrases similar to yours (this would also include certain descriptive words and short phrases).
- Online – You can go directly to https://tmviewer2k19webapp02b3rd20haystack0826enu1goog13043e1d86a8f7d80937dc404623559910c0e640b63d18ba9cf0feb738c35fe8ae6598498dbc40b6a5530fdee661448d89f988014ae54171e2546761de47bb2bd54b408df14059bd69a96479063ed89ca3db05cc4161115f4ea80763be5fc6b2481be44cc49aa47ee0074ce2adcb75cda438e5eb4ec338395490400945581868fbcd1a2cd1ee3961390d718bfbacdd32606297ff7e1759ab2872502db16334fd68ec57753fa4034643e2077a36bf476
Step 2: Create a description of the goods and services related to the mark.
The description should be as specific as possible. It should not include any legal terms or foreign languages. The description should be clear and concise, written in plain language. For example, don’t include symbols such as (c), ™, or ® when describing the goods or services you provide. If you are unsure if your trademark will qualify for registration, ask an attorney for assistance with this step of the process.
The next step is to provide a drawing or picture of the trademark. This should be a clear, accurate representation of what it looks like. If you are unable to create this yourself, hire an artist or illustrator to do so. The logo should be in black and white and include any text that appears on it. Make sure your design is simple enough that someone could draw it from memory if necessary—this will make it easier for customs officials to recognize your brand when they see it on imported goods.
Step 3: Select the appropriate trademark category.
The third step in the trademark registration process is to select the appropriate category. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers 45 different categories, each with its own fee structure. The most common categories are Class 1, 2 and 3, which cover goods and services that include clothing, furniture, cleaning products or educational services.
If you choose one of these three classes as your primary classification for your trademark application, then you’ll pay a $185 filing fee for every mark you register within that category (for example: if your company sells both shirts and hats under the same brand name). If you’d like to register multiple marks in different industries—for example: hats & shirts—you can expect to pay an additional $325 per application; however keep in mind that this will limit your ability to protect many other types of trademarks because each new product requires its own individual registration process.
Step 4: Complete an application online or file a paper application.
Once you have completed the necessary steps, the USPTO will send you an email confirming that your application has been filed. This can take a few weeks, so be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t receive one within two weeks of filing (or sooner if you file online).
If you filed a paper application, it will arrive in the mail approximately eight to ten weeks after filing date. If nothing arrives in this time frame or it gets lost in transit, contact them at [email protected] and they will resend it or get it ready for processing by their staff when they receive it back from USPS.
Step 5: Pay the filing fee.
You can pay filing fees online by credit card. If you file by mail, you will need to pay by check or money order.
If you are filing electronically, you can use a credit card to make the payment.
Step 4: Register your trademark in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You must file an application for federal registration of your trademark with the USPTO within six months of first using it in commerce or filing for a state trademark. You can do so online or by mail through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS)You can also pay by debit card or cash, but you will have to mail in a check or money order. The IRS accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards..
You can register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
A trademark is a recognizable symbol or name that identifies you and your product. Registering that trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ensures that others can’t use it to sell similar products in the same market area.
Some common trademarks are Nike’s swoosh, Apple’s apple and McDonald’s golden arches. These designs have become so famous that they serve as brand names for their respective companies’ products.
The advantages of registering a trademark include:
- Protecting against infringement lawsuits by making sure other companies don’t use or copy your brand name when selling similar goods or services in the same geographic area as yours;
- Providing evidence of ownership if someone else tries to register a similar mark;
- Avoiding confusion among consumers who might think they are buying from you when they are actually dealing with another company offering similar goods or services;
We hope this article has been helpful in explaining the process of USPTO trademark filing. Once you’ve completed all five steps and paid the filing fee, you will be on your way to protecting your brand name!