Are you looking to safeguard your company's name or logo? Registering a trademark is the most reliable way to make sure that your business is legally protected. This article will provide an overview of the process for registering a trademark, including when it is best to work with a trademark attorney. Before you start the application process, it is essential to decide if a trademark is suitable for you. Once you have made up your mind to move forward, you will need to prepare and submit your application.
The USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) will then review your application and may issue an action if they identify any issues. If no problems are found, the trademark will be published in the Official Trademark Bulletin (TMOG) for 30 days. During this period, anyone who believes that their business will be harmed by the registration can file an objection or opposition. If no objections are filed, the USPTO will issue a Notice of Assignment (NOA). This means that your trademark registration will be approved once you submit a specimen showing the trademark in use for the products or services in your application.
This is called a Statement of Use (SOU). If you are not using the brand when obtaining the SOU, you can request a six-month extension to demonstrate your use. You can submit a total of five extension requests. Once you submit an acceptable SOU, the USPTO will issue a registration certificate, usually within 2 to 3 months. Generally, you can expect the trademark registration process to take between 12 and 18 months, if the trademark is already being used in commerce. It is important to note that applying for a trademark does not guarantee obtaining one; trademark applications go through a thorough review process.
Registration fees will not be refunded, even if the registration of the application is later denied for legal reasons. It is also important to check the status of your enrollment after submitting any of the applications necessary to keep it current, including between the fifth and sixth year after the date of enrollment and between the ninth and tenth years after the date of enrollment.