A trademark protects brand names and logos used on goods and services. There is helpful information available about the trademark application process through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The first step is to select a trademark. A trademark may be a standard character mark, a stylized or design mark or a sound mark.
Business owners should consider whether the trademark they want to use can be registered and how difficult it may be to protect the trademark. It’s useful to search the USPTO’s database to determine whether anyone else is already claiming the trademark rights or wording and designs that are similar.
The trademark application is available online and applicants will need to pay a fee. The applicant is responsible for monitoring the progress of his or her trademark application and must check the status of the application at least every six months to avoid missing a filing deadline. They must also maintain and update their contact information, including their email address.
After the USPTO determines that the applicant has met the minimum filing requirements, an application serial number is assigned and the application is forwarded to an examining attorney.
If the examining attorney approves the trademark, it will be published in the USPTO’s weekly publication and the applicant will receive a notice from USPTO.
If the examining attorney does not approve the trademark, he or she will issue an office action which explains the substantive, technical or procedural deficiencies with the application. However, the applicant will have an opportunity to respond.
An attorney can assist with the trademark application process and answer questions.