Don’t confuse a trademark with a patent, copyright or even protection of a domain address. When a person or business entity applies for a trademark, they are seeking protection of the name of their brand and logo on any goods that they sell or services that they render. Trademark applications are approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
You might have several trademarks in mind, so after you have determined that trademark protection is what you need, you must choose the proposed trademark that will accompany your application. Keep in mind that not all proposed trademarks can be protected. That is one of the primary reasons why an application for registration and the protection that comes with it is required. Those seeking a trademark will want to determine whether their proposed mark can be protected along with the difficulty of protecting it based on the strength of the mark.
Application Preparation and Submission
Trademark applications can be submitted online. Keep in mind that not all applications are approved. Appropriate fees must accompany every trademark application. The USPTO’s policy is that its fees are not refundable. Application status can be monitored online. It is recommended that status is checked every few weeks in case a deadline has to be met. You must advise the USPTO of any changes in mailing or email addresses.
The USPTO Lawyer
After a favorable decision is made on your compliance with trademark application filing requirements, your application is assigned to a USPTO lawyer. He or she will examine it to determine whether it is legally compliant with appropriate fees having been paid. A search for any conflicting trademarks will also be made.
Trademark Office Action
If a trademark application is determined to be deficient, a letter explaining why it was deficient will be forwarded to the applicant. If the application is only minimally deficient, a phone call might even be made, or an email might advise accordingly. The applicant will be allowed to cure any deficiencies within six months. If a timely response isn’t received, the application will be considered to have been abandoned.
If the examining attorney approves the application, it will be published in the Official Gazette that is published weekly by the USPTO. If no objections to the mark are filed, and the application is to be used in commerce, the trademark will be registered, and a certificate of registration is issued.
Begin using your registered trademark right away, and continue using it. The USPTO might ask for documents verifying that it is being used. Failure to use your mark can result in the cancellation of it.
If you are contemplating the submission of an application for a new trademark without an experienced trademark attorney, you’ll find the process confusing and exhausting. The Law Office of Jerry Joseph has the resources to efficiently and effectively complete, submit and monitor your application for you. Legal protection of your brand in the future will be critical.