Register Trademark Online: Everything You Need to Know
To register a trademark online, there are several important pieces of information that you need to understand.3 min read
2. How Long Does It Take to File an Online Trademark Application?
3. Trademark/Service Mark Application Process
4. Trademark Filing Options: TEAS Plus
5. Requirements of TEAS Plus
Register Trademark Online
To register a trademark online, there are several important pieces of information that you need to understand.
The United States Patent and Trademark Offices (USPTO) considers a trademark to be designs, words, symbols, or combinations that are used to identify a good and to distinguish that good from products of other manufacturers. According to the USPTO, a service mark consists of the same items used to create a trademark, but this mark is used to identify a service instead of a good. Service marks and trademarks are assets that you can use to sell your good or service and protect your intellectual property.
Merchants selling products online often view registered trademarks as the perfect solution for protecting the items they use to brand their business, including logos and slogans.
How Long Does It Take to File an Online Trademark Application?
If you don't obtain help from an experienced attorney, you can expect to spend an hour applying for a registered trademark and around 10 minutes for an unregistered trademark. Normally, the USPTO will respond to your application within six months.
Trademark/Service Mark Application Process
You should always learn whether a slogan or a brand name is available for trademarking before using them for your business.
The USPTO prohibits trademarks that could cause customer confusion, are overly descriptive, or too generic. For example, if you start an electronics company named “Appl,” your trademark will be rejected because it consumers would likely confuse it for Apple, one of the world's largest tech companies.
Your trademark may also be denied by government objection if your mark:
- Is similar to another mark
- Could be considered obscene
- Offends religious sentiments
Whether you wish to register a service mark or a trademark, you will be able to choose from a variety of registration options. Applying via the USPTO website is the easiest, quickest way to register your mark. You can also fill out and submit a trademark application using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) process.
One of the most important steps in applying for a trademark or service mark is searching the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to see if your chosen mark is already being used by another company. You will also need to submit a variety of documents and pay an application fee.
There are 45 different classes that may apply to your mark, and the class you choose will depend on the products or services your mark will be used to identify.
Trademark protections are given on a first use basis, meaning the first entity to use a trademark will be granted rights to the mark.
In addition to the previously mentioned search options, you should also search for unregistered trademarks similar to your own by using internet search engines such as Google.
You can start using your trademark if it is eligible for registration and there are no similar marks currently in use. The trademarks office will verify your application once it has been completed and submitted.
If no one comes forward to object to your trademark application, a notification of your registration will be published in the trademarks journal. After four months have passed, and there has been no opposition to your application, your trademark registration will be completed within six months. A hearing will be held if someone files an objection and the person objecting to your mark doesn't accept your response.
When your logo or brand has been trademarked, you will receive a TM number that you can use to license your mark. This number should be issued within three days. However, it can take as long as two years before you will be allowed to use the ® symbol.
Trademark Filing Options: TEAS Plus
If you use the TEAS Plus system to register your trademark, you will need to pay a fee of $225 per category, the lowest of any registration solution. However, this registration option also includes a variety of requirements.
Requirements of TEAS Plus
For every category listed in your application, you will need to pay the required fee. You will also need to use the USPTO Trademark Manual to correctly identify the services or goods that you are registering. Information related to your mark, such as a translation of non-English words or a description of marks that use color, may also need to be included in your application.
If you need help to register a trademark online, you can post your legal needs on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.