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At UpCounsel, we want to help you protect your brand with a trademark at one low cost.
A trademark is a symbol, word, or words that have been legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product within the United States.
By having an attorney register a trademark for you with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you will establish your rights as the legal owner of the mark, which will protect it from being used by others in an unauthorized manner.
To get started registering a trademark, you can easily book our fixed fee package - or, if you require additional trademark services, such as an international trademark, just post a job and you can compare free custom proposals from several trademark attorneys who can best help save you time and money registering a trademark.
In order to properly register a trademark with the USPTO, an UpCounsel attorney must:
1. Conduct a trademark search for similar trademarks, goods, or services.
Before you file a trademark for your company name, logo, or slogan, your attorney will run a trademark search to make sure there is no existing trademark with a similar name and in a similar industry as yours.
If you’re not sure what industry you would operate in, you should do a trademark search for your major competitors and see in what industries they have their trademark's registered.
2. Determine the mark format.
There are three types of mark formats:
Standard Format - Used for the basic word, words or numbers of the mark. For example, if you have a standard mark format for "ThisNewCorp," you will be able to prevent someone from using a stylized "ThisNewCorp" in your industry.
Stylized/Design Format - This is the type of format you would use for marks that have a specific design element that you wish to protect.
Sound Marks - This is the type of format you would use for sounds which classify or symbolize the source of a good. One of the most famous examples of this would be the NBC chimes.
3. Determine the goods and services industry for your mark.
The goods and services industry class is a class number under which you will register your trademark which is based on the industry that most closely matches your company’s. Every class number that you register your trademark under is essentially like filing a new trademark. This means that you will have to pay for every class number you register under.
4. Determine the goods and service description for your mark.
This description is intended to describe all of the products or services that you wish to be covered by the product. While you should be broad with the description, it should not be too broad or else the USPTO will ask you to rewrite it (which may be months after you filed the trademark).
5. Fill out the online trademark application.
After determining the availability of your trademark name, the class number, and description, your attorney can begin the process of filing an online application. This in itself is a multi-step process.
Register a Trademark for a fixed fee of $645 (including filing fees)
Additional filing fees will be based on the following:
(1) The Number of Marks: Only one mark may be filed per trademark application. If you have multiple marks, they require separate applications, each with its own filing fee;
(2) Number of Classes: You must pay for each class of goods and/or services in the application.
For example, if the application is for one mark, but the mark is used on goods in two different classes, such as computer software in Class 9 and t-shirts in Class 25, then a filing fee for two classes is required before the application could be approved.
(3) The version of the form being used: See above. There are three possible filing fees for the USPTO. The application filing fee for the TEAS Plus version of the form is be $225 per class of goods and/or services but has the strictest requirements. The next level is the TEAS Reduced Fee filing option that is $275 per class of goods and/or services. The TEAS Regular filing option is $325 per class per class of goods and/or services.
What is the difference between a trademark, copyright, and patent?
A trademark is a word, symbol, logo, or other device that identifies and represents a company. A copyright is a type of protection afforded to many types of original works in literary, musical, and artistic form. A copyright will protect the original owner in the event that anyone else distributes, copies, displays, or performs the work without the owner’s consent. A patent is the protection afforded to the inventor of an invention in exchange for public disclosure of the invention.
Do I really need an attorney for filing a trademark?
Although an attorney is not required to file a trademark, it is highly recommended that you obtain legal counsel. There are many time-sensitive deadlines to be met and paperwork to be filed, that it could get a little complicated. Also, an attorney can help you do a comprehensive, thorough search for any similar trademarks to prevent you from the hassle of discovering one later on down the line. It’s important to keep in mind that filing fees are non-refundable as well, so it would be best to have an attorney help you file properly the first time around.
What are some reasons the USPTO might refuse a trademark?
A likelihood of confusion is one of the most common ways a trademark may be refused. The basic idea here is that the proposed trademark is so similar to an already registered trademark that it is probable that consumers will get the two products confused. Several elements must be met to prove that there is a likelihood of confusion including the similarity of the marks, the strength of the original mark, and evidence of any actual confusion, for example.
Some other reasons include: the mark being misdescriptive, the mark being geographically deceptive, or the marking being only ornamental.
What about international trademark registration?
A foreign trademark registration is necessary if you plan to sell internationally. Since trademarks are dealt with locally, you should file a trademark application in any country you believe will be a key market for your business.
What happens if someone uses my trademark without my permission?
This would be considered trademark infringement. In the event that your newly registered trademark may be infringed upon, our trademark attorneys can help draft and send a cease & desist trademark infringement letter and/or file suit to protect the mark against infringers.