The post registration procedure of trademark refers to the process of keeping a trademark in good standing even after it has been registered and approved by the United State Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

How to Apply for a Trademark

There are many important steps to the trademarking process. Just because a trademark has been registered, this doesn't mean the process is complete. After registering a trademark, there are certain steps to follow in order to keep your intellectual property (IP) protected under the trademark moving forward.

Once you apply for a trademark with the USPTO, an attorney will take over examining your application. They will likely respond to your application with some questions and clarifications. If these inquiries are missed or not responded to in a timely manner, the trademark protection may never take effect.

Don't miss the necessary steps to obtaining good protection for your IP. You'll need to:

  • Search for pre-existing trademarks and applications still pending
  • File the trademark application
  • Keep up with the application during the process and be sure to answer follow-up inquiries

Before applying for a trademark, it's a good idea to know whether your desired name is already protected. You'll want to search current trademarks as well as current applications for trademarks in case they are approved while you're working through your application process. Obviously, you cannot trademark a name that is already protected or about to be protected. This search can save a lot of time and hassle.

You can perform a trademark search yourself or go through a professional. Professionals may have access to more trademark databases than the average person, which can widen your scope.

Searching the USPTO for current trademarks and those in the application process is quite easy. Simply visit their online database and start your search.

Using a professional can help make sure that nothing is missed by searching more than just the USPTO database. This type of search will cover more ground than the USPTO will cover in deciding whether your application for a trademark with them is possible. The necessity of a broader search depends on the type of coverage you are seeking.

It is always a good idea to perform a general search online when deciding on a name for a company or a trademark. Even if your desired name is being used but hasn't been officially trademarked, it's better to try to find a completely unique name. Consider the fact that other names that are similar to your desired name that are in use at the time you file a trademark will be allowed to continue to be used. This could render your efforts somewhat useless.

Domain names are also an important part of the modern business world. In addition to searching current trademarks and applications, it's also good to search available domain names. This can also be done online.

Principle Register vs Supplemental Register

It usually takes about a year to file a federal trademark, providing you don't run into any snags in the process. If the examining attorney for the trademark comes across any discrepancies, the process could take longer.

There are two types of registers used for federal trademarks:

  • Principle Register
  • Supplemental Register

The Principle Register hosts trademarks that offer stronger protection against infringement because they include more possible uses of the name you hope to protect. This can include second meanings, suggestions of the trademark, arbitrary uses, and more. Basically, if you want all of your bases covered, you'll want to get your name register on the Principle Register.

The Supplemental Register is offered to names that aren't approved by the USPTO to be on the Principle Register. This sort of back-up register provides a federal trademark, but without the extra bells and whistles protection of the Principle Register. If your name is put on the Supplemental Register, you'll still officially have a federal trademark, and you can use the recognized trademark symbol legally.

If you hope to have the power to take legal action against any trademark infringement on your chosen name, you'll want to be on the Principal Register. Getting a name on the stronger register can be tricky, so consider hiring an IP lawyer for assistance.

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