Trademark Registration in .
USA is considered to be one of the largest economies in the world, with a diverse range of businesses competing in a tough marketplace. Every day, there are new entrants in the market which makes it tough to survive and distinguish yourself. One of the ways in which businesses can showcase their distinctiveness and authenticity is through a trademark. With the help of a trademark, a business can protect itself legally from infringements and counterfeiting, while uplifting its brand image.
To understand the trademark registration process in the USA, we need to understand the process in detail.
Trademark registration services in the USA
The USA follows a first-to-use system which means that a brand that is commercially used first will receive trademark registration. To register a trademark in the US, the applicant can file an application online with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You can register a multi-class application in the US.
The USA entertains two types of applications: ‘In use’ trademark application and ‘Intent to use’.
An ‘In use’ application means that your trademark is already in use, in commerce, or is connection with the goods and services being offered. This means that your trademark is currently in use for business activities.
‘Intent to use’ applications mean that your trademark is not currently in use with any business activity but you intend to use it for the said purpose. If USPTO is satisfied with the application, it will accept it and will issue a Notice of Allowance. Once the trademark is registered, you will have to file evidence, showing that you have used the trademark in business activities with the goods and services mentioned in the application by giving a Statement of Use.
Types of Trademarks
Types of trademarks in USA
Different trademarks can be registered in the US. This mostly includes slogans, shapes, names, phrases words, images, 3D shapes, holograms, smells, and colours. The most important factor to look for when registering a trademark is to see if it is distinguishable and distinctive.
Similarly, some trademarks cannot be registered, including state symbols, flags, public figures, trademarks that are deceptive, trademarks that go against the public interest, trademarks going against moral grounds, descriptive trademarks.
How to register a trademark in USA?
It is always good to search for existing trademarks to understand the available trademarks’ intricacies. This also helps in understanding why a trademark might have been refused.
USPTO accepts multiple class application filing so that the applicant does not have to file individual applications everytime for each class. There are certain requirements set by USPTO for the application. This includes:
- The name and address of the applicant;
- If the applicant is a business, then the type of legal entity it is;
- Details of the trademark and if it contains design elements then a drawing of the trademark will also be needed;
- List of goods and services offered;
- The class or classes under which the goods and services offered will fall.
Other than these details, to process the application, the official fee has to be timely paid.
The online application system is known as Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). There are two options to choose from if you are applying online: TEAS Plus and TEAS Standard.
TEAS Plus is relatively cheaper, and it allows applicants to choose the description of goods and services from a preset list, rather than creating a description of their own choice. TEAS Plus has more requirements.
TEAS Standard is more expensive, but it allows the applicants to create a custom description of the goods and services.
Once the application is filed, it is given to an examining attorney who checks the application on absolute and relative grounds. The trademark registration application is checked if its complete, if there are an inaccuracies, and if the trademark is registrable in the first place or not.
The examiner also checks if there are similar or identical trademarks already registered or applied for, and if the trademark complies with all the regulations.
If there is any problem with the application, the examiner sends an official notice to the applicant containing the reasons for refusal. The applicant is given 6 months to respond and clear any confusion, otherwise the rejection decision will be final.
If the application gets accepted and there is no official action, or if the official action has been accordingly responded to, it gets published in the Official Gazette. The publication is done for 30 days.
The publishing of application allows interested parties to oppose the trademark based on various reasons. If there is an opposition filed then there is a court-like hearing where both parties have to produce evidence in support of their arguments, and a decision is given based on that.
If there is no opposition filed or if the dispute is resolved and the decision is in favour of the applicant, the trademark gets registered and the USPTO issues a certificate of registration.
The entire trademark process takes around 12-18 months.
Price of Trademarks
Trademark registration cost in USA
The cost may vary according to the legals fees and the number of classes. The cost of TEAS Plus is $250 per class and the cost of TEAS Standard is $350 per class. If you have to give a statement of use, then you will have to pay $100 when filing, as filing fee. The overall cost to register a trademark in the USA ranges from $500 to $2000, depending on the number of classes and legals fees.
Age of Trademarks
How long does the trademark last?
Trademark in the USA lasts for 10 years, but after the 5th year of registration, a declaration of use has to be filed otherwise the trademark will lose its protection.
Trademark can be renewed 12 months before the expiration by providing a declaration of use again. The renewal can also be processed 6 months after the expiration date, by paying an additional fee.
It is important to understand the extent of which a trademark protects its owner from infringements and counterfeiting. It provides exclusivity to the trademark owner over the goods and services and offers authenticity infront of the customers.
At Trademark International, we provide hassle-free trademark registration services catered to your needs in compliance with the international requirements and standards. Trademark registration in the USA doesn’t have to be complicated, and that’s why Trademark International is here to assist with all of your intellectual property needs.
What to do? How to do it? When to do it? Will it work?
If these are the questions that come to your mind when thinking of registering a trademark, you have come to the right place. We, at Trademark International, answer these questions and more! Offering multiple trademark services, we guarantee client satisfaction. For expert advice and consultation, contact us now!
Frequently Asked Questions
The process for registering a trademark varies from country to country. To file for a trademark in the US, you can file an online application with the USPTO. The USPTO entertains two types of applications: ‘In-use’ and ‘Intent to use’. The online application is known as Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
Just like every country has its own registration process, the cost varies as well. Depending on the legal fees and the length of the process, the cost can go up or down. In the US, the price of registering a trademark ranges from $500 to $3000.
You need to file an application which should contain: your name and address, if it’s a business then the type of legal entity it is, details of the trademark, list of goods and services, the details of the class(es).
Yes, you can file for both: a local and an international trademark. Some countries entertain a single application to register a trademark locally as well as internationally.
Yes. It is possible to register a trademark in multiple countries with a single application but it depends on which union the country is part of. You can do this through the Madrid Protocol or EUIPO.
Countries have different laws regarding what can be registered as a trademark. In the US, the types of trademarks that can be registered are slogans, shapes, names, phrases words, images, 3D shapes, holograms, smells, and colors.
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