Trademarks are often found following words, phrases, designs, or symbols that identify or distinguish goods from one party from that of another. A service mark is found following words, phrases, designs, or symbols that identify the services of one party from that of another. In general, the word “trademark” is used to define both trademarks and service marks. To register a trademark, you will need to follow a process set by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The first step you will need to take when applying to register a trademark is filling out an application. When you fill out this application, you might want to have legal counsel help you with this paperwork. If you live in the United States, you are not required to have legal counsel for a trademark application, but it is strongly recommended.
Before applying, you and your legal counsel will need to determine if your mark is registerable and how difficult protecting the mark will be once it is registered. You will be required to provide the filing basis and the registration basis for your mark. This centers around how and when you intend to use your mark.
Preparation of the Application
The application for your trademark can be filed online through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). You will also be required to pay initial application fees when you submit your request. TEAS Plus is $225 per class of goods or services, and TEAS Standard is $275 per class of goods or services. You should note that when you apply for a trademark and file the application, if it is denied, you will not be refunded these fees. You can also only apply for one trademark per application.
Monitoring Application After Submission
During the process of registration, you and your legal counsel will need to monitor the application until a determination is made by the USPTO examining attorney. Once a determination has been made, the attorney will send a letter if more information is needed. You will need to make sure that you are responding to them promptly. If you do not respond within six months, your application will be declared as abandoned.
Maintain Trademark Once Approved
After the trademark has been approved, you will need to pay the necessary fees and ensure you are keeping up with the status of the trademark. It will also be up to you and your legal counsel to ensure that no one is infringing upon your trademark, the USPTO does not monitor this. Although the possibility of filing a trademark application can be done on your own, it is not something everyone is knowledgeable about. Hiring legal counsel that specializes in trademark applications can ensure that everything is done correctly and legally.