The trademark registration process is a bit different from country to country, but the USPTO has made it simple for applicants by creating an online filing system that takes most of the guesswork out of what you need to submit name and when.
When a company or individual is trying to protect their brand, they will often use the term trademark. However, this term can be confusing because it actually refers to two different types of protection: one for the name of your business and one for its logo. This guide explains how trademarks work and how you can register them.
What is a trademark?
A trademark is an identifier that distinguishes your products from those made by other companies in the same industry. It could be anything from a slogan (for example, “Just Do It”) or logo (like Nike’s swoosh) all the way down to specific packaging details like color schemes and fonts used on labels—anything that helps customers recognize your company’s products as distinctively yours when compared with others’.
Step 1: Deciding on a name for your business
The first step in the trademarking process is to decide on the name of your business. This may seem obvious, but you should consider several factors when choosing a name:
- Is it easy to remember? If people have trouble remembering your name, they won’t be able to find you easily, which will hurt your business.
- Is it unique? You don’t want someone else using the exact same name for their company and confusing customers with similar products or services.
- Is it not already trademarked by another company? You don’t want someone else owning the rights to your brand before you can get started! (This happened with Amazon Prime.)
- Is it too long? Longer names may be more memorable than shorter ones, but can make things awkward if spoken aloud or printed onto clothing or promotional materials—and remember that an effective logo will include only part of each word anyway!
Step 2: Researching whether your name is available
You’ll want to make sure that the name you choose isn’t already trademarked, or in use by another business. You can do this by conducting a trademark search through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design used to identify the source of goods and services being provided by one party. A service mark is similar but indicates that a company provides services instead of goods—for example, “The UPS Store.” A collective mark identifies the members of a group—for instance, “Coca Cola” or “Smithsonian Institution.” Collective membership marks let consumers know they’re dealing with all members of an association when they purchase something from them; their purpose is to avoid confusion among customers. Certification marks are used by approved entities as part of their branding efforts; certification services are things like certifying food products’ organic content levels. A collective membership certification mark promotes group identity while simultaneously offering consumer protection through third-party verification processes (like having your new yoga studio certified as meeting certain standards).
Step 3: Filing your application with the USPTO
Your next step is to file your application with the USPTO. There are two ways to do this: online or by mail. If you choose to file online, you will be able to upload all of your documents and pay any fees associated with your filing at that time. If you opt for paper filing, you must mail all materials directly to the USPTO before paying any fees associated with doing so (which is why we recommend going digital).
- Fees for filing: $375
- Fees for responding to office actions: $200-$400 (depending on whether an appeal is necessary)
Step 4: Responding to office actions
If you receive a notice of refusal, you have six months to respond to the office action. If you do not respond within that time frame, your application will be automatically abandoned. If you need more time than what is allotted for response, ask for an extension of time in writing by following the instructions in the office action. You can always resubmit your application if it is rejected and decide to work on improving it further before trying again later. If you wish to continue with a similar design or product but change some aspect of branding, we recommend contacting a trademark attorney who can help make sure all requirements are met properly before resubmitting an application for consideration by our agency.”
Step 5: Completing the application and waiting for registration
You can expect your application to be processed within six months of submission. If you submit an application with no problems, the registration office may send you a notice of allowance. This means that the trademark is ready for publication and will be registered on the official register. However, if there are any issues or deficiencies with your application, it may trigger an office action from IP Australia which requires you to make amendments before proceeding further. It’s important not to make any changes without considering what impact they could have on your overall rights as owner of a registered trademark.
Next, you must decide what type of application to file:
Next, you must decide what type of application to file:
- An intent-to-use (ITU) application. If you plan to use a mark in the future but haven’t done so yet, an ITU application can help protect your rights for as long as six months after filing (or 12 months if filed before October 15th). However, some jurisdictions require that you show proof that you have adopted a trademark before receiving protection for it through this type of application system; if not done correctly or properly filed within their laws’ requirements under which these types of filings operate within their jurisdiction’s jurisdiction’s jurisdiction’s law then they cannot issue any kind of legal protection whatsoever regarding said brands’ brands’ brand names unless they have been used commercially first at least once by someone else who has been using it first before them – this means anyone using any kind of previously established brand name should check with local agents before applying because even if they don’t know why they need permission from another company owner/operated entity then there might be something important which could affect how well everything works out later on down road further down road someday soon later next week maybe Friday right now today tonight tomorrow morning rush hour traffic jam day time rush hour traffic jam night time rush hour traffic jams weekend holiday weekday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hopefully this has given you a good overview of the trademark application process, what to expect and how long it takes.