Trademark Filing Process is the procedure of registering the trademark and logos in the trademark office for protecting it. It helps in distinguishing your products from the competitors. It also helps prevent others from using the same logo and design as of yours. A registered trademark is an intangible asset for a business and protects the company’s investment in the brand or symbol. After trademarking your logo, it is important for one to preserve that unique identity. The trademark filing process starts with the filing of the application with the USPTO and ends at the completion of the trademark registration.
Trademark Filing Process: Key Points to Consider
The filing of the trademark attracts a lot of brand recognition. The little effort of yours will preserve a trademark for generations and develop a unique identity of the brand. However, the trademark filing process involves several steps to follow. The steps are as follows:
Get Ready to Apply
The first step of the trademark filing process starts by choosing the design of logo or mark. A logo or trademark should be easy to remember and should be relevant to the product of the company. These are some of the points to keep in mind while filing a trademark application:
- Selecting a mark:
Once you determine the type of protection you need, selection of the mark becomes very important. One should do it with some thought and diligence because not every mark is registrable. People usually choose marks that often connect with their product and brand name.
- Mark Format:
It is also one of the important steps in trademark filing. One should be able to decide, whether it would be a standard character mark or a design mark. People also go towards stylized or sound marks.
- Identification of Goods and Services:
It is critical to decide the goods and services to which one wants to apply the trademark for. Identifying goods makes it easier for one to choose marks from a variety of sources.
Trademark searching becomes essential as it tells the applicant whether the registration of a particular mark already exists or not. If someone is already the owner of a specific trademark, you cannot have a similar one.
- Basis for Filing:
Under the basis for filing of ‘use in commerce’, you must demonstrate that you have been using the mark in commerce. The use of the mark should be prior to registration. If you were already using a mark with all the services in your application, you may file ‘use in commerce’ basis.
Submit the Trademark Application
Once you are clear with the above steps, the filing of the trademark application becomes the next step. You need to mention all the details of the trademark in your trademark application.
Monitoring Application Status
After completion of the trademark application, monitoring of the application becomes important. It is to ensure that the USPTO timely acts upon all the documents you send or receive. One can easily review what is happening to the trademark application and not miss any important deadlines.
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Examination of the Application
After filing, the trademark application goes to the trademark office for the examination process. The process involves:
- Reviewing the application:
Once the USPTO determines that you have met the minimum filing requirements, it assigns you an application serial number. Then, the application goes to the examining attorney. The attorney reviews the application to determine the compliance of the application with the office rules.
- Office Action:
The examining attorney decides whether to register the trademark or not. If the attorney decides not to register the trademark, he will issue a letter explaining the substantial reason for the refusal. The attorney will claim to correct the deficiencies of the application.
- Respond to the letter:
If the examinee attorney sends an office action, the applicant must respond to the office action within 6 months of the action. The applicant needs to amend the claims which the examinee attorney wants him to correct.
Approval/Denial of the Trademark
The next step of the trademark filing process is the approval or denial of the trademarkapplication.On the completion of the examination, the attorney approves or rejects the trademark application depending on the response of the applicant. There are several steps to follow:
Publication of the Mark
If the examinee attorney raises no objection, or if the applicant overcomes all the objections, approval of the application takes place. After approval, the USPTO publishes the trademark in the “Official Gazette.” “Official Gazette” is a weekly publication of the USPTO. The USPTO sends a notice of the publication to the applicant stating the date of publication. USPTO gives 30 days of time for the opposition of the trademark to happen, if anyone wants to oppose it.
- Notice of Allowance:
After the publication of the trademark, the next step is notice of allowance to the applicant. If there is no opposition regarding the trademark application, USPTO issues a notice of allowance to the applicant. A notice of allowance means the successful survival of the trademark filing in the opposition period after publication.
Filing the Statement of Use (SOU)
A time period of 6 months is given to the applicant from the date of allowance to file the Statement of Use (SOU). The applicant needs to use the trademark in commerce and file SOU. If the applicant fails in doing so, it results in the abundance of the trademark application.
- Reviewing the Statement of Use:
A Statement of Use (SOU) must meet minimum filing requirements before an examining attorney fully reviews it. If SOU meets the minimum filing requirements, the attorney determines whether it is acceptable to permit registration or not. If the examinee identifies no refusals or additional requirements, he approves the SOU.
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This is the final stage of the trademark filing process. Once you pass all of the above steps, the registration of the trademark happens. The following points are important to remember:
- Registration Certificate Issue:
Within approximately 2 months after getting the approval of SOU, the USPTO issues the trademark registration. To keep the registration live, the applicant must file the specific maintenance documents. Failure to make these filings will result in cancellation of the registration.
- Monitoring Registration Status:
Even if your trademark registers, you should monitor the registration on an annual basis. It is important to check the status of your registration after making any of the filings to keep the registration alive.
- Protecting your Rights:
The USPTO attempts to ensure that no other parties receive a federal registration for a similar trademark. But, it is the responsibility of the owner to bring a legal action and stop others from infringement of the trademark. If the owner suspects the infringement of his trademark, he should immediately oppose the actions of the other party.
Looking for Trademark Filing? – The Trademark Filing Company
It is always beneficial to claim your trademark before someone else does. The Trademark Filing Company (TTFC) consists of professionals who have years of experience in trademark filing process. If you want to register your trademark, TTFC with its world class facilities and professional expertise would help you in doing so. We file quick and easy trademark applications for our clients at optimal cost. Our team also provides timely notifications to our clients at each step. TTFC is well aware of every guideline and the latest trademark laws to ensure our client’s trademark safety. We will also report you with the proper updates. For more information, visit The Trademark Filing Company.