Filing a trademark application is quite easy. However, the online process of filing is more convenient. You can use the TEAS (Trademark Electronic Application System) after logging into the USPYO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) website. Application in paper forms is not quickly processed and costs 50 dollars or more.
A trademark refers to a symbol, name, or other means of product identification. It has official registration and restricted legally on the manufacturer or owners for use. This is necessary in preventing others to use the same or identical marks. A trademark is abbreviated as ™ or TM.
First, log into the website of the USPTO. Click the "Trademarks" on the home page, and then click "FILE online" on the succeeding screen. Applicants should never forget that federal registration of trademarks is a very straightforward process. You need to comply with the following:
- Describe your service mark or trademark. It is often called as "marks".
- State the date you first used the marks.
- Describe the services or products where the marks are intended to use.
- State the classification where the mark is going to be registered. There are about forty classifications for services and goods. The USPTO online help provides you with information in finding the right classification for your trademark.
Moreover, you must accompany your applications with: trademark drawings (word marks: simply encode the words; graphic marks: include graphic images or photo files); proposed mark samples of its usage; and online registration of 325 dollars per classification.
There are also qualifications to meet before your trademark can qualify for a federal registration. First, use your trademark as an "interstate commerce" to register with the USPTO. It means that your trademark is intended for services or products which crosses national, territorial, or state borders, or directly affects commerce which crosses in those lines. Take for instance; a motel, a restaurant, or an internet business which caters to international or interstate customers.
As the owner of the trademark, you must follow these tips.
- Never use the same or similar trademark as the existing trademarks which are associated with services or goods.
- Never use a trademark that is included in the reserved or prohibited lists of trademark names. The trademarks that are ineligible include:
• Names of persons who are still alive. It can be only used if they allowed it.
• The United States flag.
• Other local and federal governmental insignias.
• Likeness or names of deceased United States presidents, unless allowed by their widows.
• Symbols or words which disparage deceased or living persons, beliefs, national symbols, or institutions.
• Marks which are judged deceptive, scandalous, or immoral. Generally, the USPTO will take their liberal view in connections with "scandalous" or "immoral" trademarks.
• Marks which is solely used in just one state. A trademark which offers services or goods for sale must be used in more than one state to receive trademark protections from the government.
- The trademark must be generic and directly describes the products rather than the source.
- Never use a too descriptive trademark which is not distinctive to be given protection.
When the USPTO considers your trademark eligible for government registration, they will publish it their official publication. The "Official Gazette" will state that your trademark is an eligible candidate for federal registration. This will give a chance for the existing owners of various trademarks to object. If somebody objects, a hearing will be scheduled by the USPTO to resolve disputes. If nobody objects, you must receive a USPTO response within one year. The processing of your trademark application can last for one year or more. It also depends on the raised legal issues and basis for application during the examination process.
To maintain your trademark status, you should file a statement to use the trademark continuously or renew your application. In this way, you can acquire additional rights especially if incontestability statement is filed. Keep in mind that the USPTO will not notify you if your statements are due. Your federal registration is ten cancelled once you fail to renew or pass a statement. Make sure that you understand all the terms and conditions upon your registration.
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