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How does the trademark process work in the US?


A trademark is a symbol, word or phrase that identifies the source of goods or services. It can be a logo, slogan or even your business name. A trademark is a symbol, word or phrase that identifies the source of goods or services and distinguishes them from those of others. Trademark registration in the US, you must have an idea for a logo/name/slogan (it doesn’t have to be finalised) and then provide evidence that others cannot use it elsewhere in this country – usually by searching online for companies who already use it!

How to apply for a trademark

  • What is a trademark?

A trademark is any word, name, symbol or device that is used to identify and distinguish the source of goods or services from others in the marketplace. A service mark goes on top of this definition: it identifies and distinguishes the source of a product or service rather than a physical good. For example, Apple’s products are all registered trademarks but register brand name is their service mark (among other things).

  • What is the difference between a trademark and a trade name?

The terms “trademark” and “trade name” are often used interchangeably but they’re different. A trade name refers to your business’ legal name as well as its DBA (Doing Business As), if applicable; for example, if you operate under both “Bob Smith Software LLC” and “Bob Smith Software,” those would both be considered your trade names because they’re your legitimate businesses names – not brand names that could be protected by legal means such as registration with state agencies like here in California where I live!

What is the application process for a trademark?

The USPTO provides comprehensive information about the trademark registration process on its website. The first step is to determine whether your trademark is eligible for registration. You can do this by filing an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Once you’ve determined that your mark is eligible for protection, you have several options for registering it with the USPTO:

  • Apply online via Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS)
  • Mail in a paper application
  • Fax in your application

What is the difference between a trade name, trademark and service mark?

Service marks protect the names of services provided by a company. For example, if you own a restaurant named “Famous Burger,” it might be possible to register that name as both a trademark and service mark in your state so that no one else can use it for their businesses (or at least not without your permission).

Who can apply for a trademark in the US?

Anyone can apply for trademark in the United States. You must be the owner of the mark to apply.

  • You may apply for a mark in your own name, or on behalf of a business entity (as long as you have authority to do so).
  • If you are an individual applying for a mark that will appear on products or services offered by one person, you must be at least 18 years old. For more than one person offering goods or services under a common name, each applicant must be at least 18 years old and each applicant must have legal capacity to contract under applicable law.

Can I use my logo as my trademark?

  • Logos are not, by themselves, considered to be trademarks. A trademark must be unique; it cannot be descriptive of the goods or services you provide. For example, if your business is an online selling platform for handbags and you sell a canvas bag with an image of a tiger on it, this would not make an effective trademark because “Tiger” is descriptive of the type of good that you are selling: bags with images of tigers on them.
  • In order to register your logo as a trademark, or any other symbol or design (such as colors), you will have to use the mark consistently in commerce so that others know that it identifies your company and its products or services. You also need to show proof that consumers associate this identifier with your brand so that they recognize what product or service comes from which company when purchasing items from multiple outlets—even if those outlets aren’t in direct competition with each other!

Does a business name have to be registered to secure trademark rights in the US?

No, a business name does not have to be registered to secure trademark rights in the US. A trade name is a business name but it is not necessarily a trademark.

A trade name can be registered as a trademark and/or service mark if you wish to do so. To learn more about this process, please read our article on securing your business name as trademarks or service marks.

How do I register a company name as a trademark?

It’s important to remember that your company name cannot be generic, or descriptive of the services you provide. For example, if you sell real estate and your business is called “Real Estate Company,” this would not be a good choice for a trademark because it is descriptive of the services offered. Your company name must also be unique so as not to infringe on any existing trademarks that are already registered with the USPTO.

How much does it cost to register a trademark in the US?

There is also an additional fee for each foreign country where you want an intent-to-use mark and there is a search involved. For example, in order for your registration application (and any subsequent renewals) to be accepted by uspto as evidence that your application was published in USPTO Gazette as part of their Trademark Law Treaty obligations with other countries participating in these agreements (such as Japan), there must be evidence that someone searched through our records—this means paying extra money!

What is covered by my registration application?

  • trademark registration covers the name and logo.
  • trademark registration does not cover the product or service.
  • trademark registration does not cover the company name.
  • Trade mark registration will protect your brand, help you differentiate yourself from your competitors and stop others from using your logo, brand name or other distinctive marks.


As you can see, the process of US trademark filing is fairly straightforward and it doesn’t take much time. However, it is important that you understand what is covered by your registration application and how best to protect your brand. If you are considering trademarking your business name or logo then we highly recommend contacting us for more information on the process so that we can help guide you through any questions or concerns along the way.

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