Register a Trademark: Everything You Need to Know
Register a Trademark
If you want to register a trademark, then this means that you want to register a brand with the United States government.
How to Register a Trademark
It is actually quite a simple process for a business to register a trademark. You simply need to fill out an application and file is online. You can do this through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the website you can use is the USPTO website. Most people can fill out the information and file the application in less than two hours. No legal assistance is required.
The office that you file with will send you a response after the application is received. Expect to hear word within about six month.
Before you are start your application and begin filling out your paperwork, you should complete an investigations to find out if another business has already filed a trademark application for the same brand as you. Specifically, you do not want to register for a mark in your same field of business as another corporation. You can look for identical trademarks by going through the U.S Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search.
Cost of Trademark Registration
When you fill out and file your paperwork for your registered trademark, you must pay a fee. This fee will not be refunded if your application is rejected for some reason. The fee is $275. Accepted applications are ones where a team of lawyers through the patent office have reviewed your request and believe that it does not infringe on the rights of another business.
Overview of Trademark Registration
When the trademark is approved by the legal team, it will become an intent to use trademark. Rejected marks can be reexamined by the patent office if you desire this. You can send in a new application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office within a six month timeframe. Keep in mind that a second fee will be required for this, so it may not be wise to send in an additional application if there is a good chance that it will be rejected again.
Once your trademark becomes an intent to use variety, other businesses will have 30 days to file an opposition to the mark and they will have the option of asking for an extension on the timeframe so they can decide if the branding closely matches their own. Businesses can see your trademark up for approval through a publication that is put out each week.
If there is no opposition to the trademark, then you will hear back from the patent office within about three months. You will get a Notice of Allowance that states you can use the trademark.
At this time, the trademark has the ability to be used for commerce purposes for six months. When the branding is placed on a product and sold, you will need to provide the proof of purchase. Something called a Statement of Use or SOU needs to be filled out and filed with the patent office.
The SOU Process
Proof of purchase can be supplied in the way of a receipt and you must produce a picture of the product with the approved trademark displayed on it. Once you supply the SOU will make your trademark a fully registered one instead of one that is still marked for intent to use. You can use the R distinction with the mark at this time.
The SOU filing and the review does come with an added fee of $100. If you cannot complete the SOU with a six month time period, then you do have the option of paying a small bit of money for an extension on this.
Once the trademark is approved and you are able to use it, you must fill out paperwork on occasion to keep it active. This is called maintenance paperwork and can be filed through the US patent office like your original forms. You should do this every few years.
Benefits of a Trademark
Trademarks allow for use of the brand and the specified mark and it also lets you sue individuals who use your mark without permission. Not only can you legally stop individuals from using the brand, but you will have the opportunity to sell it to others for use privileges.
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